H GM έχει συνεργαστεί και στο παρελθόν με την NASA και είχανε κατασκευάσει το 2010 το Robonaut να τώρα συνεργάστηκαν ξανά και δημιούργησαν ένα γάντι υποβοήθησης. Ονομάζεται Human Grasp Assist ή K-glove ή Robo-Glove και δίνει στον χρήστη την δύναμη ενός ρομπότ. Η GM δηλώνει ότι το γάντι μπορεί να αυξήσει την ανθρώπινη δύναμη κατά το 1/3 και να μειώσει τους τραυματισμούς. Ζυγίζει κοντά στο 1 κιλό και τροφοδοτείται από μια τυπική μπαταρία ιόντων-λιθίου.


Επίσης η Chevrolet ανακοίνωσε ότι θα συμμετέχει στο  Sprint Cup Series του πρωταθλήματος NASCAR του 2013 με ένα νέο αυτοκίνητο το οποίο θα βασίζεται σε κάποιο μοντέλο παραγωγής το οποίο θα παρουσιαστεί μέσα στο έτος. Περισσότερες λεπτομέρειες μπορείς να βρεις στα video και στο δελτίο τύπου που ακολουθεί.

[Πηγή: General Motors]

Δελτίο Τύπου

GM, NASA Jointly Developing Robotic Gloves for Human Use

Robonaut technology coming to the factory floor or space station soon

HOUSTON – General Motors and NASA are jointly developing a robotic glove that auto workers and astronauts can wear to help do their respective jobs better while potentially reducing the risk of repetitive stress injuries.

The Human Grasp Assist device, known internally in both organizations as the K-glove or Robo-Glove, resulted from GM and NASA’s Robonaut 2 (R2) project, which launched the first human-like robot into space in 2011. R2 is a permanent resident of the International Space Station.

When engineers, researchers and scientists from GM and NASA began collaborating on R2 in 2007, one of the design requirements was for the robot to operate tools designed for humans, alongside astronauts in outer space and factory workers on Earth. The team achieved an unprecedented level of hand dexterity on R2 by using leading-edge sensors, actuators and tendons comparable to the nerves, muscles and tendons in a human hand.

Research shows that continuously gripping a tool can cause fatigue in hand muscles within a few minutes. Initial testing of the Robo-Glove indicates the wearer can hold a grip longer and more comfortably.

“When fully developed, the Robo-Glove has the potential to reduce the amount of force that an auto worker would need to exert when operating a tool for an extended time or with repetitive motions,” said Dana Komin, GM’s manufacturing engineering director, Global Automation Strategy and Execution. “In so doing, it is expected to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injury.”

For example, an astronaut working in a pressurized suit outside the space station or an assembly operator in a factory might need to use 15-20 pounds of force to hold a tool during an operation but with the robotic glove only five-to-10 pounds of force might need to be applied.

“The prototype glove offers my space suit team a promising opportunity to explore new ideas, and challenges our traditional thinking of what extravehicular activity hand dexterity could be,” said Trish Petete, division chief, Crew and Thermal Systems Division, NASA Johnson Space Center.

Inspired by the finger actuation system of R2, actuators are embedded into the upper portion of the glove to provide grasping support to human fingers.  The pressure sensors, similar to the sensors that give R2 its sense of touch are incorporated into the fingertips of the glove to detect when the user is grasping a tool. When the user grasps the tool, the synthetic tendons automatically retract, pulling the fingers into a gripping position and holding them there until the sensor is released.

GM and NASA have submitted 46 patent applications for R2, including 21 for R2’s hand and four for the Robo-Glove alone.

The first prototype of the glove was completed in March 2011 with a second generation arriving three months later. The fabric for the glove was produced by Oceaneering Space Systems, the same company that provided R2’s “skin.”

The current prototypes weigh about two pounds and include the control electronics, actuators and a small display for programming and diagnostics. An off-the-shelf lithium-ion power-tool battery with a belt-clip is used to power the system. A third-generation prototype that will use repackaged components to reduce the size and weight of the system is nearing completion.

“We are continuously looking for ways to improve safety and productivity on the shop floor,” Komin said. “Our goal is to bring this technology to the shop floor in the near future.”

NASA and GM have a long, rich history of partnering on key technologies, starting in the 1960s with the development of the navigation systems for the Apollo missions. GM also played a vital role in the development of the Lunar Rover Vehicle, the first vehicle used on the moon.

About General Motors

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

About NASA Johnson Space Center

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research. Since February 2006, NASA’s mission statement has been to “pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.” The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is the NASA’s center for human spaceflight training, research and flight control in Houston, Texas, USA. Johnson Space Center is home to the United States astronaut corps and is responsible for training astronauts from both the U.S. and its international partners.

New Chevrolet Racecar to Debut for 2013 Season

DETROIT – The countdown to the debut of Chevrolet’s next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racecar is underway. Chevrolet announced today that for the 2013 season, Team Chevy will be racing a vehicle based on a new nameplate to the brand’s lineup.

Taking advantage of the new NASCAR rules, which allow manufacturers to display more of their brand identity in their racecars, the new Chevrolet racecar will closely resemble the production version. Both cars will be unveiled in the coming year.

“We are keeping the wraps on the new car for now and will continue to prepare for next season by testing camouflaged vehicles,” said Jim Campbell, vice president, Chevrolet Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “We know that Chevrolet fans are eager to see the new racecar and we hope that the prospect of being able to own one just like it will make the wait a little more bearable.”

The current Chevrolet racecar, the Impala, took three out of top five spots at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday including the win by Tony Stewart. Since 2007, the Impala has dominated the series, taking the checkered flag 79 times. Chevrolet drivers have also won five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ Championships, and Jimmie Johnson (4) and Tony Stewart (1) have collected five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver’s championships in the Impala.

“The Impala has been a critical part of Chevrolet’s success in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we are confident the new racecar will allow us to remain the most successful name in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history,” Campbell said.

A legacy of racing competition runs deep in Chevrolet’s 100-year history, dating to co-founder Louis Chevrolet’s passion for racing automobiles. Chevrolet has won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ Championship 35 times. Chevrolet Corvette Racing has taken seven class trophies at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A Chevrolet-branded V-8 racing engine won the Indianapolis 500 seven times between 1988 and 2002.

As Chevrolet continues to define itself as a 21st Century global automotive leader, motorsports remain integral to the plan. The racing version of the Chevrolet Cruze, which since its 2009 debut has become the bowtie brand’s best-selling car globally, claimed the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) Cup in 2010 and 2011, and is the first ever General Motors-branded vehicle to win such honors in a FIA-organized series.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com