GLOVE GRABS AWARD
The SEM (Soft Extra Muscle) Glove from the Swedish
company Bioservo Technologies is the winner of the
Robotdalen Innovation Award 2012 and will receive
support from Robotdalen for further product development
and commercialization. A lot of people need extra strength
to grab things in their everyday life, like a coffee pot or a
drill. This is due to things like age, repetitive strain injuries,
or medical conditions such as a stroke or arthritis. The
SEM Glove adds extra power to the grip through force
sensitive sensors and robotics technology.
Institute and the
Royal Institute of
Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. They combine their experiences about human
needs with modern robot technology knowledge to create innovative products
that strengthen the body. The SEM Glove is viewed as an excellent example of a
user-friendly, adaptive robotic assistance. The prototype appears to be ready for
serial production with great opportunities to reach a global market.
The Robotdalen Innovation Award aims at giving the winners an opportunity
to further develop their commercially valid robotics solutions, says Lennart
Karlsson, Internationalization Manager at Robotdalen. The winners were selected
among 24 contributions from 12 countries.
Winners of the Robotdalen Innovation Award 2012 (from the left):
Mohammad Reza Ghahremani, Iran (2nd prize);
Johan Ingvast from Bioservo Technologies (1st prize);
and qbrobotics from Italy (3rd prize).
Photo by Terése Andersson.
Johan Ingvast from Bioservo Technologies demonstrates
the SEM Glove. Photo by Terése Andersson.
PRACTICE WILL MAKE PERFECT
Robonaut 2 has been up on the International Space Station for a
while now, and it's only recently that he's really gotten to wake up, stretch
out, and get to work. What work is that? Well, it's not hand-to-hand
combat with invading aliens. (Not yet, anyway.)
It's predominantly a range of motion tests to make sure that all of
Robonaut's motors and joints are working properly, and aside from some
fabric binding around the elbows, the robot checked out a-okay.
The other purpose of the motion tests was to try and figure out how
Robotnaut's movements change in zero g as opposed to one g (one g is
equal to the force of gravity on the Earth's surface). His limbs all still have mass, of
course, but since they don't weigh anything, calibrations are going to be necessary to
make sure that the bot retains all of that manual dexterity he's so well known for.
So, what's next (besides the fact that Robonaut can move his limbs)? Practice is
what Robonaut is going to start doing next, using a taskboard where he can press
buttons, flip switches, and use tools without risking accidental thruster firings,
unexpected decompression, or arming of the railgun turrets or laser cannons.
Taskboard manipulation is not the most exciting of jobs, but it's an important first
step in being able to let the robot perform autonomous tasks safely and reliably.
Cool tidbits herein provided by Evan Ackerman at www.botjunkie.com, www.robotsnob.com, www.plasticpals.com, and other places.
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