Gyroscopes in Anti-Tremor Gloves

May 14, 2016 by Kate Smith

A medical device named the GyroGlove is using gyroscopes to help people with Parkinson's disease reduce the impact of hand tremors.

A medical device named the GyroGlove is using gyroscopes to help people with Parkinson's disease reduce the impact of hand tremors.

The GyroGlove is a wearable medical device currently in development for consumer production by a company called GyroGear.

GyroGear’s founder, Faii Ong, is a former British Army combat medic and current medical student. In 2014, Ong was working at a hospital in London. Upon caring for an elderly woman who struggled with tremors, he decided to develop a device to help combat the effects of tremors. With the help of a team of engineers, Ong is developing the GyroGlove for commercial distribution.

The GyroGlove uses a small gyroscope, controlled by a circuit board, to sense and work against the force of tremors. The result is a glove that actively works to keep a hand steady.

In early-stage testing so far, the glove is reported to reduce the manifestation of tremors by up to 80%. According to Ong, wearing activated prototype gloves is comparable to the sensation of moving one's hand through treacle.


Sketch of the current GyroGlove design. Image courtesy of GyroGear.


The GyroGlove also makes use of IoT connectivity. The device will come ready to pair with a smartphone app. The circuit board in the glove will be equipped to record hand tremors and transmit that data to an app.

The app will be designed to be accessible by both the wearer of the glove and the wearer’s doctors. This is intended to allow seamless monitoring and recording of a wearer’s tremors, making it easier to track whether they are worsening or improving.

Comparable products used to combat tremors, such as Liftware utensils and the ARC pen designed to allow Parkinson's patients to regain fine motor control, use small vibration motors for stabilizing technology.

The GyroGlove was designed to help people who experience hand tremors, but it’s possible for them to be used in other capacities, as well. For example, a surgeon could use GyroGloves to help steady their hands for more precise fine motor control during procedures.

Gyroscopes have been used as stabilization technology for surgeons in other applications before. In 2003, the iASSIST Knee navigation system was developed by Zimmer Biomet to assist surgeons in conducting knee surgery. However, the GyroGlove could be among the first wearable devices developed for surgical assistance.

At present, the GyroGlove aims to utilize a relatively flat gyroscope roughly the size of a silver dollar. This is already an improvement on working prototypes that used larger, spherical gyroscopes mounted to the top of a glove.


GyroGear founder, Faii Ong, with a GyroGlove prototype. Image courtesy of GyroGear.


Ong hopes to release the first commercially-available version of the GyroGlove as early as 2016, but that date may shift as development continues. 


Watch the Trailblazers interview with GyroGear founder, Faii Ong, here: