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.

(Via NASA)

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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

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...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.

Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'

Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.