Tyler Hill

Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Space Studies

First Advisor

Pablo de Leon


Spacesuits utilized a rubberized layer of material to contain a pressurized atmosphere to facilitate respiration and maintain the physiologic functions of the astronaut residing within. However, the elasticity of the material makes it resistant to deformation increasing the amount of work required during movement. This becomes particularly fatiguing for the muscle groups controlling the motion of the hands and fingers. To mitigate this a robotic system was proposed and developed. The system built upon previous concepts and prototypes discovered through research efforts. It utilized electric motors to pull the index, ring, and middle fingers of the right hand closed, ideally overcoming the resistive force posed by the pressurized elastic material. The effect of the system was determined by comparing qualitative and quantitative data obtained during activities conducted with and without it within a glove box. It was found that the system was able to offload some of this elastic force though several characteristics of the design limited the full potential this device offered. None the less, the project was met with success and provides a solid platform for continued research and development.