Robot Gloves Joining Wearables Parade
The line between rehabilitation robot gloves and industrial robot systems is beginning to blur. As cutting edge physical therapy products are developed, there are crossover applications for industrial and business settings. Gloves designed for improving the motor skills of stroke victims with paralyzed hands, for example, are being repurposed to help line workers reduce the adverse effects of repetitive motion. At the same time, robotic gloves are improving productivity in virtual worlds where gamers manually interact with objects, data, and graphics in virtual reality.
Grasping Robot Gloves
Today, robot prototype gloves, glove devices, and exoskeletal hands are being developed by private sector companies like General Motors, and public sector organizations like NASA. Creating wearable robotic gloves to improve worker health and productivity is beginning to pay off as the GM-NASA Roboglove, not yet in use, will soon be used in industrial settings.
The following video explains how GM and NASA developed the Roboglove.
Home Use of Robot Gloves
Robotic gloves are also being developed for home use to provide physical therapy for stroke patients and those with a wide range of injuries. The Harvard Wyss Institute has developed a new soft robotic glove to help hand impaired patients, including those with muscular dystrophy.