Robo-glove could help people with a weakened grip perform tasks

The robo-glove that puts power back in your hands: Device could help people with a weakened grip perform everyday tasks such as opening jars and holding a mug, developer says

  • Glove could help with daily tasks such as opening jars, driving and making tea
  • Uses sensors to pick up muscle activity along the wrist and forearm
  • When the user tries to hold an object, the glove responds by strengthening grip 
  • It is aimed at the 2.5million people in the UK who suffer from hand weakness

Having a weak grip can make simple tasks like drinking a cup of tea a struggle. But now, a robotic glove could offer a ‘helping hand’ to millions of people.

The glove – which could help with daily tasks such as opening jars, driving and making tea – uses a sensor to pick up muscle activity along the wrist and forearm. 

When the user tries to hold an object, the glove responds by strengthening the grip.

It is the first product from Edinburgh-based start-up BioLiberty and is aimed at the 2.5million people in the UK who suffer from hand weakness through age or illness.

The glove – which could help with daily tasks such as opening jars, driving and making tea – uses a sensor to pick up muscle activity along the wrist and forearm (file image)

Ross O’Hanlon, who co-founded BioLiberty and devised the glove, said: ‘We wanted to support independent living and healthy ageing by enabling individuals to live more comfortably in their own homes for longer.

‘While there are many gadgets on the market that address a specific grip challenge such as tools to help open jars, I wanted an all-encompassing solution to support a range of daily tasks.’

The team have created a working prototype of the glove and secured support from the Edinburgh Business School Incubator. Mr O’Hanlon added he was ‘confident’ that this would get the glove into homes more quickly. 

Having a weak grip can make simple tasks like drinking a cup of tea a struggle. But now, a robotic glove could offer a ‘helping hand’ to millions of people (file image)

He said: ‘The Edinburgh Business School Incubator has an incredible programme for early-stage businesses like ours, supporting challenges all new companies face including the drive for additional funding, marketing, networking, scaling and forging collaborations.’

Kallum Russell, Edinburgh Business School business incubator manager, said the programme will help support growth by providing networking events, mentoring, virtual seminars and speaker opportunities.

He said: ‘As the impact of the pandemic further erodes the economy, access to support services for business owners has been curtailed.

‘As a result, incubators like ours are even more valuable in supporting the development of innovative new products and services which will help drive economic recovery and growth.’

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