Comex, in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) has developed the Power Glove, a smart space suit glove capable of controlling rovers with gestures.
The Power Glove is the result of the ESA’s Project Pextex. In addition to seeking to identify new materials and textiles for space suits, the project proposed identifying novel solutions to challenges missions to the Moon will face.
Potential solutions project partners were encouraged to pursue included self-healing and lunar dust repulsing fabrics, and smart textiles. It was within the smart textiles category that Comex chose to develop the Power Glove.
The next-generation space suit glove incorporates three functions over and above its most basic requirement of protecting an astronaut’s hand from the vacuum of the lunar surface.
In addition to being capable of controlling rovers and drones with gestures alone, the Power Glove integrates a laser to measure distances or target objects and displays the status of supplies like oxygen. Currently, space suits display oxygen levels on the torso, a location that requires a mirror to view.
Apart from a picture included with an April 14 ESA press release, there have been no additional hints into how the Power Glove functions. It is likely the glove’s specifications are more of a wish list with the mockup unit likely capable of the most basic functions.