NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment
NASA has a new wearable technology that replaces, or strengthens, the human shoulder.
(NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment video)
Well, now NASA’s Wearable Robotics Laboratory, in collaboration with Rice University, has used the technologies developed for the exoskeleton and the Space Suit Roboglove to help with rehabilitation and augmentation of one of the most complex human joints … the shoulder. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate supported the development of X1 and the Robo-glove through its Game Changing Development Program (GCD). GCD advances innovative technologies that have the potential to revolutionize future space missions as well as improve life on Earth.
The Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment, or “Armstrong,” is worn on the upper body and can activate the shoulder and elbow joints using a Bowden cable transmission system. This system uses actuators on the torso to pull on synthetic tendons that cross the shoulder and elbow joints to create the desired movements. Integrating this technology could provide a means to augment astronauts during planetary EVAs, easing difficult manual lifting and manipulation tasks.
Armstrong was developed for Warrior
Web, a DARPA program looking, in
part, to advance technologies to prevent,
reduce, and rehabilitate soldiers
with neuromusculoskeletal injuries.
DARPA’s aim is to help soldiers who
have had a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI),
which often causes motor impairment
and limb weakness similar to a stroke.
“While developed initially to rehabilitate soldiers with TBI,
there is potential for application of Armstrong’s technology
in future spacesuits,” says Raul Blanco, Johnson’s
Space Suit and Crew Survival Systems Branch Chief. “By
enhancing human strength and reducing muscle fatigue,
this technology could enhance spacewalk activities and
change the paradigm of how extravehicular activity operations
are planned and executed. As enabling technologies
for batteries and actuation continue to improve, this type
of system could possess intriguing advantages over current
systems for some mission scenarios.”
“The potential of incorporating a similar ‘hybrid’ technology
in the spacesuit is very intriguing,” says Johnson’s
Christopher Beck, codeveloper of the technology. “It could
provide crew members with additional strength to accomplish
safer and more efficient spacewalks. It could also
help reduce injury and fatigue in the shoulder because of
overuse in the spacesuit.”
(Via NASA Game On Magazine [pdf, starts at page 30])
(NASA 'Armstrong' soft wearable shoulder exoskeleton)
I was immediately reminded of this passage from Babel-17, the amazing 1966 novel by Samuel R. Delany. In the story, he describes an operation in which the shoulder joint is removed and replaced with a transparent plastiplasm cage:
"We'll just block off all sensation from your shoulder on . . . there, that didn't really hurt. This? Oh, it's a local venial and arterial constrictant; we want to keep things clean. Now, we'll just cut you along the—well, if it upsets you, don't look. Talk to your friend there. It'll just take a few minutes. Oh, that must have tickled all down in your tummy! Never mind. Just once more. Fine. That's your shoulder joint. I know; your arm does look sort of funny hanging there without it. We'll just stick in this transparent platisplasm cage now. Exact same articulation as your shoulder joint, and it holds your muscles out of the way. See, it's got grooves for your arteries...."
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/18/2018)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1963.
You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.
First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.
Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'
Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'
Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'
IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'
Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'
Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'
Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'
BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'
Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'
IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.
Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.
Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'
World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories