DC motors in Ironhand® – the world’s first soft robotic muscle strengthening system for professional users

Ironhand’s® pioneering system has been developed to prevent and detect risks of repetitive strain injuries from grip-intensive tasks. The system combines neuroscience, mechatronics and robotics with unique digital functions and strengthens the user’s grip and endurance.

Our customer Bioservo Technologies is behind the innovation. This company is a world leader in the development of soft robotic solutions – which unlike other heavy and rigid exoskeleton type aids – are light with flexible joints, making them easy to wear for hours at a time. The company has already enjoyed considerable success in the healthcare sector with Carbonhand®. This time it is the turn of the automotive and industrial sector to benefit from the company’s in-house developed Soft Extra Muscle technology – SEM™.

Natural movement and extra power when needed

Carbonhand® and Ironhand® are both based on the company’s SEM™ technology. To sum up, this works by extra power being initiated by sensors that read off the wearer’s movements. The DC motors – which work like extra muscles – are activated and strengthen the wearer’s own muscles by adding just the right amount of extra force.

Our own collaboration with Bioservo was already under way during the development of SEM™ and the production of Carbonhand®. Today Carbonhand® has been available for six years and is selling worldwide in the healthcare sector.

Weakened muscles – Carbonhand® facilitates everyday life

The Carbonhand® soft robotic glove helps people with muscles weakened as a result of injuries or diseases such as rheumatism or strokes.

With sensors in the fingertips, motion controllers and three built-in DC motors Carbonhand® provides the right amount of extra strength for weakened hands when needed.

Ironhand® prepared for Industry 4.0

Modular Ironhand® is easy to set and adjust to suit the wearer. The glove is also prepared for human integration in the Industry 4.0 environment as digital risk assessment is enabled. Ironhand® reduces the load during repetitive operations and extra power is added when a great deal of muscular strength is needed.

I asked the company’s development director, Martin Remning Wahlstedt, how they think the collaboration between Bioservo and Compotech has worked and when Ironhand® is expected to reach the market:

– You are a stable and reliable supplier which has gone into our challenges in depth and actively helped us to find solutions for some of our most critical components. Communications, service and a willingness to help have always been in the top rank. Our cooperation has lasted for more than 10 years but has intensified in the last two years during development of Ironhand®, Wahlsted said and continued:

– Positive long-term testing of Ironhand® by selected customers has begun. A wider market introduction will take place in the second quarter of 2019.

Built-in sensors activate the five DC motors forming the gloves’ muscles.

At Compotech we are very proud and pleased at the confidence Bioservo has shown in us over more than a decade in various projects. We believe they will have great success in the next few years with exciting developments ahead of the company.
Would you like to know more about Ironhand® or Carbonhand®? Here is a link to Bioservo.