German engineering firm, Festo, has developed a mechanical exo-skeleton that’s attracting attention at this year’s Hanover Trade Fair.
The device, called ExoHand, is worn like a glove and doubles the hand’s gripping power. Heinrich Frontzek, spokesman for Festo, explains how it works:
“First of all, the ExoHand is a glove which one slips into. And at the back of the glove, there’s a special power booster built in. That’s done with little air cylinders that give power to every single finger through pressurized air that’s blown into it. Through that, we can reach a doubling of the grip force.”
Although it’s not yet on the market, Frontzek says that because Exohand has a range of possible uses – from increasing productivity for factory workers, to helping rehabilitate stroke patients – it offers an intriguing example of what the future of automation looks like.