General Motors Factory Workers Could Have Robotic Gripping Gloves In 2017

DETROIT (WWJ) – A Swedish company’s robotic gripping glove could be implemented in General Motors factories as early as next year.

Developed out of a partnership between GM and NASA, the robotic glove technology will help factory workers in common tasks in the auto manufacturing process.

The wearable robotic force-multiplier uses sensors, actuators and tendons that are comparable to the nerves, muscles and tendons in a human hand.

(credit: General Motors)

(credit: General Motors)

GM Robotics Engineer Marty Linn sees the device as a way to limit injuries and help workers do a better job during repetitive grasping tasks, “They won’t have the muscular fatigue they won’t have the same sorts of problems and potentially avoiding injuries from having muscular fatigue.”

(credit: General Motors)

(credit: General Motors)

RoboGlove is licensed to Swedish Medtech company Bioservo Technologies.

GM intends to be the first U.S. manufacturing customer for the refined robotic glove and will test it in some of its plants.

“The successor to RoboGlove can reduce the amount of force that a worker needs to exert when operating a tool for an extended time or with repetitive motions,” said Kurt Wiese, vice president of GM Global Manufacturing Engineering.

(credit: General Motors)

(credit: General Motors)

(credit: General Motors)

(credit: General Motors)

GM briefly tested RoboGlove in a preproduction plant before looking for a partner to help refine it to fit different size hands and address other issues.

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