GOOD

This Groundbreaking Exo-Glove Promises Independence For Its Disabled Users

It helps restore mobility to people who’ve endured strokes or severe spinal injuries

While there are no shortage of considerations when developing technology to assist disabled people, the public and media’s attention often drifts to the “big” announcements. Can it help people walk? Can it “fix” a person’s ailment? Will it restore their quality of life to what it was before their disability?

While these are certainly worthwhile questions to ask and noble pursuits, progress can also come in steps that may seem smaller, but are no less important.


When the Seoul National University’s robotics department began work on the Exo-Glove Poly, they thought about the day-to-day struggles that stand between afflicted people and their independence. That can include simpler tasks like reaching, grabbing, and holding items that are essential to one’s daily routine.

So they worked on developing the Exo-Glove Poly, something they call a “soft, wearable robot for the hand,” because, well, that’s what it is. Almost as inconspicious as a wool glove, the cutting-edge device serves to restore functionality to a person’s hand after suffering a stroke, spinal damage, or possibly other neural issues.

Here’s a video explaining both the team’s approach and the resulting product in action:

Taking an extraordinarily holistic approach to the device’s development, the team, led by Kyu Jin Cho, a mechanical engineer, took into account all of the following into its design:

  • Hygiene
  • Usability
  • Simple Design
  • Price
  • Mass Production
  • Wearability
  • Appearance
  • Safety

The Exo-Glove Poly covers three fingers (the thumb, index finger, and middle finger) with wires attaching the glove’s finger to a small motor, which controls them in ways that their disabled wearer cannot. The motor can be activated using neural impulses, essentially serving as an aid in a person accomplishing tasks like brushing their teeth or feeding themselves. To that end, it’s waterproof, meaning that its utility extends to bathing, a big hurdle to independence for many disabled people.

As you can see in the video above, a new approach to innovation has resulted in this little, unassuming device that could wind up helping its disabled users more than anything we’ve seen in quite some time.

Articles

Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

Keep Reading Show less

One mystery in our universe is a step closer to being solved. NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched last year to help scientists understand the sun. Now, it has returned its first findings. Four papers were published in the journal Nature detailing the findings of Parker's first two flybys. It's one small step for a solar probe, one giant leap for mankind.



It is astounding that we've advanced to the point where we've managed to build a probe capable of flying within 15 million miles from the surface of the sun, but here we are. Parker can withstand temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and travels at 430,000 miles per hour. It's the fastest human-made vehicle, and no other human-made object has been so close to the sun.

Keep Reading Show less
via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture