Development of a Power-Assisted Space Suit Glove Joint 972323
The need for improvement of EVA gloves has been identified by NASA and the user community. Particularly important, especially for near to long term goals in the space program, is the need to reduce the fatigue associated with manual tasks. The University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory (SSL), together with ILC Dover are currently developing an unobtrusive, power-assisted EVA glove that will attempt to provide a suited crewperson with as close to nude-body hand dexterity as possible. The power-assisted joint is designed to provide sufficient force to offset the resistance of the pressurized glove itself, thus alleviating manual fatigue, but provides no additional strength augmentation. This paper describes the initial prototype power-assist mechanism which has been developed, reviewing the relevant design issues and discussing the initial test results from the prototype.