The Hamlyn Centre FAIR-SPACE research team showcased our latest space innovative wearables at the latest Imperial Lates event
Last Thursday, while people were celebrating London Fashion Week, our Hamlyn Centre research team participated in the “Imperial Lates: Smart Fashion” at Imperial College to showcase our latest space innovative wearables, such as AR/VR and eye tracking technology, that could be used to train astronauts or those working in extreme environments.
Intelligent Space Wearables
One of the space fashion highlights our FAIR-SPACE research team brought into the showcase was intelligent spacewalk glove. According to the research findings from our researchers, one of the issues with the current model of space glove is that the glove inflates and becomes very difficult to operate and move during a spacewalk. As inflated gloves create a lot of resistance, astronauts waste a lot of energy on just moving their fingers and may take hours to simply tighten a screw.
In order to solve this problem, our researchers have designed a glove that has sensors placed inside its fingers part with an exoskeleton to enhance dexterity. The sensors relay finger movement information to the exoskeleton that goes with the spacesuit, which in turn can provide help with the action that is being performed.
Moreover, our research team also improved the tactile senses of the wearer. The current version of space glove is very thick, making an astronaut’s sense of touch almost absent. The new version of the space glove has sensors on its exterior that relay touch information through small vibrations, providing a new feedback loop to the astronaut.
1st FAIR-SPACE Researchers Workshop
Earlier this year, in January 2019, our researchers held the 1st FAIR-SPACE Researchers Workshop at Imperial College London.
At the event, researchers gathered together to share the latest progress of their research in the fields of ‘Sensing & Perception’, ‘Mobility & Mechanism’, ‘AI & Autonomy’, ‘Human-Robot Interaction’ and ‘System Engineering’, which are the five crosscutting research themes of FAIR-SPACE Hub.
The Future AI and Robotics for Space (FAIR-SPACE) Hub is a UK national centre of research excellence in space robotics and AI. The Hub was launched in November 2017, as part of the government’s £84m R&D funding on “robotics and AI for extreme environments” through the Industry Strategic Challenge Fund (ISCF). The Hamlyn Centre is one of FAIR-SPACE Hub's academic partners and our research team is leading the ‘Human-Robot Interaction’ theme.
In its initial 3-year programme, the Hub has secured a £6.9m research grant from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the UK Space Agency (UKSA), boosted by a further £7.5m match fund from the industrial sector and a £15m business development fund. The Hub aims to help advancing knowledge and technologies in orbital manipulation, extra-terrestrial vehicles, and robotic support for astronaut missions. In the longer term, the Hub will help to advance the field to a new era by achieving long-lived robotic operations in space.
Based on the first-year annual report, the Hub has engaged with over 30 businesses, visited over 25 schools/universities and inspired over 1200 students, published the UK-RAS space white paper and over 10 original research articles and developed software prototypes and hardware testbeds for orbital/surface scenarios, which will be leading facilities for use by both academia and industry.
The News released by FAIR-SPACE Hub: IMPERIAL LATES: SMART FASHION
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