Nuada, a Portugal-based startup specializing in biotic gloves, developed a soft, robotic hand gear which strengthens the grip of people with weak or bruised hands. The glove is in its testing phase.
Filipe Quinaz and Vitor Crespo, the co-founders, create a glove which contains “mesh” of artificial tendons and sensors. The mesh is controlled by an electromechanical system contained in a smartwatch-like devices worn on the same hand
The glove gets activated when a user lightly flexes their wrist. The glove gets the signal to “assist” the hands by facilitating any movement. The users will mainly utilize the gloves to pick up minor objects, maneuver, or lift heavy items such as a grocery bag or a furniture.
A more sophisticated and an exorbitant version of the Nuada glove can predict movements and assist them automatically. This version works in synch with a mobile app which collects data on the hand’s activities. A physical therapist could review the data and enable the wearer to become ergonomically healthy.
“Nuada started with the concept of creating a medical-grade prosthetic. The company decided to develop more of a generally helpful tool after receiving tremendous demand from employees whose staff are involved in heavy manual labor with weakness in their hands,” Quinaz told in an interview.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 140,000 workers in the U.S. along in 2015 were victims to hand injuries and maladies. Healthy individuals become a victim to hand weakness due to repetitive physical tasks at work. Meanwhile, hand arthritis affects tens of millions in the U.S. alone.
The robotic glove maker is currently testing its robo-glove with large employers including a Volkswagen factory and the retail business, Sonae. The company raised seed funding from HAX, a hardware accelerator in San Francisco and its affiliate venture firm, SOSV.