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UH Moment

UH Moment: “ExoGlove”

Inspiration for brilliant technological advances can come from surprising sources. Like the case of two University of Houston undergrads. Listen to this week’s UH Moment.


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Justin Loop and John Amstadt, researchers working on the ExoGlove

Justin Loop and John Amstadt, creators of the ExoGlove

Justin Loop and John Amstadt were inspired by comic book hero, Iron Man.  As undergraduate students in the University of Houston College of Technology, they went to work on a glove that would give the wearer special abilities—just like Iron Man.  The result of this research is the ExoGlove.

“The ExoGlove is a device you put on, just like a glove and that is your control,” said Justin Loop, half of the dynamic duo that created the device for their Special Projects class.  “Any movement that you have is measured, every movement of your fingers, every point of your fingers.”   As he puts on the ExoGlove and moves his hand, a wooden robot hand mimics the same movement. 

The project is not completed, but shows great promise for astronauts, for example, who can use the ExoGlove to perform outdoor repairs from the comfort of their vehicle; or a special tactical team that can use the ExoGlove to detonate explosives safely from a distance; or surgeons whose skills are needed on the other side of the world.

Movements in the ExoGlove can be mimicked by another device, such as this wooden hand

Movements in the ExoGlove can be mimicked by another device, such as this wooden hand

“Essentially, a surgeon would put his hand in to these gloves and in these gloves, with the help of a computer, he would be able to manipulate his arms and hands in a manner conducive to the surgery,” Loop said.   

The project illustrates the university’s focus to enhance undergraduate research.  Both Loop and partner John Amstadt will continue perfecting the ExoGlove as they move to graduate school at UH.  They’re hopeful that someday their work will be used for good. 

“We’re all in this together in this process we call life,” said Amstadt.  “So being able to contribute and make life that much easier is definitely a great plus, definitely a motivator.”

Undergraduate Research is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston.  I’m Marisa Ramirez.

Telling the stories of the University of Houston, this UH Moment is brought to you by KUHF, listener supported radio from the University of Houston.