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August 29, 2012
NASA's Johnson Space Center Honored For Facility, Technology

HOUSTON – NASA's Johnson Space Center has been chosen as the year's outstanding laboratory in America's heartland.

And one of the projects to come out of it – the Human Grasp Assist Device, also known as the Robo-Glove – has been chosen as its Notable Technology Development.

The award was recently announced by the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Mid-Continent Region. The FLC is a nationwide network of federal laboratories that provides the forum to develop strategies and opportunities for linking the laboratory mission technologies and expertise with the marketplace. It serves as a technology matchmaker, pairing federal resources and technologies with private industry needs. The Mid-Continent Region of the group covers 14 states.

"The work done at Johnson has truly advanced the mission and goals of the FLC and highlighted how technology transfer can succeed," said J. Susan Sprake, FLC Mid-Continent Coordinator with Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Johnson Space Center, one of 10 NASA centers across the country, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It is home to the astronaut corps, Mission Control, the International Space Station and the Orion Programs, as well as the numerous scientists, engineers and laboratories that support them. The center also actively promotes partnerships with industry, academia and other government agencies to solve technical challenges for NASA and find uses for NASA technologies outside of the aerospace industry.

The Robo-Glove is one example of such a partnership. The product of a collaboration between NASA and General Motors, it is a robotic glove that autoworkers and astronauts can wear to help do their respective jobs better while potentially reducing the risk of repetitive stress injuries. It was built using technology the two groups developed for the Robonaut 2 humanoid robot, which is now living on the International Space Station.

"You don't have to be an astronaut to benefit from NASA technology," said Ellen Ochoa, deputy Johnson Space Center director. "The Robo-Glove is a great example of that. Working together on one project, NASA and GM engineers saw potential for a new project that had uses in space and here on Earth. What we do here at Johnson Space Center affects people around the world in a multitude of ways."

Both the Outstanding Laboratory and Notable Technology Development awards will be presented on Sept. 6 during FLC's annual regional meeting of the Mid-Continent and Far West regions in San Antonio.

For information about Johnson Space Center and partnership opportunities, visit:


For information on the Robo-Glove, visit:


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Brandi Dean
Johnson Space Center, Houston

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