Category: Innovative Technologies
After developing a physical therapy device for the rehabilitation of stroke victims, Senseglove augmented its scope. Now, the Yes!Delft start-up is using simulators to give trainees at Volkswagen, Google Deepmind and other customers a virtual ‘feel’ for the job
Back in 2015, Senseglove co-founders Gijs den Butter and Johannes Luijten were graduate students at Delft University of Technology. As one of their student projects, the duo had the idea to develop a robotic hand that could help stroke victims through rehabilitation while at home. Armed with a prototype they developed as students, they pitched their idea to YES!Delft high tech start-up incubator, and in 2017, Senseglove was created. But it soon became clear that getting into the therapeutics market was going to be next to impossible.
the Delft-based startup came up with an innovation for a passive system of force feedback – what Senseglove considers to be its core IP. It consists of a glove-like exoskeleton that has a thin wire and strategically placed, patent-pending motor blocks embedded. In addition, there’s a system of internal pullies and springs that pull back on the wire to simulate force. The system can create a variable stoppage force of up to 40 newtons, or 4 kg.
After shifting its focus from therapeutics to the manufacturing industry and having produced hundreds of units, its customer list consists of several automotive, research and robotics companies from around the world. These include VW, Airbus, Google Deepmind and Honda.
Senseglove is currently working on its next-gen glove, which is designed to fit more like a glove and made from fabric, rather than the hard exoskeleton. “The technology is there to actually build this into a glove-ish type of product,” claims Den Butter. “It will contain small pieces of plastic to offer some form of stiffness and rigidity as this is needed to be able to transmit the force to the end of the fingertips. That’s where you feel most of the forces you encounter.”
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