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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Innovative EVA Glove Exoskeleton, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Dexterous performance degradation resulting from donning an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) glove limits the capability of astronauts to perform certain tasks in space. This measurable performance loss has led to a number of design revisions, but barehanded performance with an EVA glove on is still far from achievable. Exoskeleton concepts have also been considered to add some of the lost dexterous capability, but technology and design challenges have limited their practical utility. As such, InnoVital Systems, Inc., in collaboration with the Space Systems Laboratory of the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Maryland, proposes to develop an innovative EVA glove exoskeleton for increased performance capability. The proposed concept will employ the team's novel, miniature pneumatic artificial muscles to drive the multiple degrees of freedom of the hand to restore the functionality lost by wearing the EVA glove. Building upon our experience in actuation, control, and space suit systems, as well as biomimetic applications, we will perform design, analysis, and fabrication in Phase I of the project, which will end with preliminary prototype testing and feasibility demonstrations. Phase II will focus on further design refinements, controls system development, and full-scale prototype development and testing. More »

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