In recent years, the use of Artificial Intelligence in the medical field is growing rapidly. Many biotech products have been developed that use AI to provide effective solutions to real-life challenges improving many lives. A Scotland-based biotechnology start-up, BioLiberty, has developed an AI-powered robotic glove that can help people suffering from hand weakness recover muscle grip in their hands. The gloves are designed for people who suffer from hand weakness either due to old age or ailments such as motor neuron disease and carpal tunnel syndrome.
The lightweight glove is the first product from BioLiberty, a start-up founded by four recent engineering graduates. The system used Electromyography (EMT) to detect the user’s intention to grip. It measures the electrical activity generated by a nerve stimulation of the muscle. Then, an algorithm converts the intent into force. The force helps the user strengthen their grip on the object.
According to BioLiberty’s co-founder Ross Hanlon, he came up with the idea when an aunt with multiple sclerosis started struggling with simple basic everyday tasks like drinking water. Therefore, he decided to develop technology to help people retain their autonomy. He mentions that they aim to support independent living and healthy aging by empowering them to live more comfortably.
Although there are many gadgets available in the market that address a specific grip challenge, such as tools to open jars, none of them is an all-encompassing solution to support a wide range of daily tasks. The robotic glove and digital therapy platform can help its users regain strength. It can assist with various daily tasks, including driving and simple day-to-day activities like drinking water, opening jars, etc.
The company has already come up with a working prototype of the glove. They are now planning to use Edinburgh Business Schools Incubator’s support to bring the gloves into homes. The technology is believed to help millions of people around the world recover muscle grip in their hands.