A lot of people suffer from debilitating conditions that render their hands practically useless. Now a Harvard engineering team has come up with a smart powered glove that can make a weak, poorly coordinated hand stronger and more capable. The investigators hope that by creating a glove platform that can be tailored to individual patients needs, this technology can be rolled out to people with ALS, muscular dystrophy, and other diseases.
The glove has soft actuators made from Kevlar and silicone that work together to close the fingers of the hand. The strength that is delivered to each finger is programmed to compensate for the patient’s unique disability, resulting in natural control, sufficient strength, and a proper range of motion.
The team is now attempting to integrate electromyography (EMG) sensors that can be used to trigger the glove a lot more accurately in terms of the user’s intentions.
Here’s a Harvard video report about the research project, including a demo with one of the patients who is helping to develop the glove: