Pneumatically Power Assisted Extra-Vehicular Activity Glove



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


45th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The effectiveness of Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) systems is paramount for enabling humans to perform successful missions. This is particularly true for space suit pressure garment systems. As the bounds of human space exploration continue to expand, this need will become even more critical as the types of tasks necessary for humans to perform increases, as well. This includes maintenance and repair work on vehicles during long missions to erecting structures and dwellings on extra-terrestrial surfaces. A key to successfully achieving such mission operations is dexterous manipulation, and in terms of the EVA system, this need translates directly to the EVA glove. We are developing an innovative pneumatically powered EVA glove exoskeleton to augment the performance capability of the hand inside the EVA glove. The exoskeleton employs novel, miniature pneumatic artificial muscles to proportionally and controllably augment the finger motion in a natural manner to provide assistance in counteracting the loss of functionality when wearing the EVA glove. The technology exploits the high performance, lightweight, and scalability of Pneumatic Artificial Muscle (PAM) actuators to produce an exoskeleton glove with smaller form factor and higher assistive capability than existing electromechanical concepts. A detailed design study and experimental validation is presented, which evaluates the feasibility of this concept and its operational advantages and challenges.


Bellevue, Washington
The 45th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Bellevue, Washington, USA on 12 July 2015 through 16 July 2015.
Thomas E. Pillsbury, University of Maryland, USS
Curt S. Kothera, InnoVital Systems Inc., USA
Norman M. Wereley, University of Maryland, USA
David L. Akin, University of Maryland, USA