GM’s Roboglove Will Turn Workers Into Cyborgs
There’s no better way to start a job interview than with a firm handshake. It’s a clear sign that you’re confident, capable, and ready to work like John Henry on PCP.
So imagine the impression you’ll make wearing Roboglove, a power-assisted gauntlet General Motors wants to give its factory workers. It may look like something in a Power Ranger costume, but it’s inspired by a real-life space robot.
NASA and GM built Robonaut 2 for tasks too dangerous or demeaning for humans on the International Space Station. The super creepy humanoid was strong enough to lift 40 pounds and dexterous enough to tap out texts on an iPhone.
GM’s now working with Swedish med-tech company Bioservo to adapt the Robonaut’s grip to gloves. Pressure sensors and actuators mimic nerves and muscles, so the glove knows when the hand inside is picking something up. It’s gentle enough to handle eggs but firm enough to maintain a strong grip, so you aren’t wasting energy holding your hammer.
Just when the glove might see production, and how it GM might use it in factories, remains to be seen. But there’s no question this steel-driving hand would make spinning a wrench on the assembly line a whole lot easier.
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