In December, Utah-based Sarcos Robotics unveiled its GUARDIAN XO full-body powered industrial exoskeleton. The company will begin shipping the first GUARDIAN XO Alpha units to members of its Industrial Exoskeleton Technical Advisory Group (X-TAG) and to US military customers in January, followed by commercial production units in late 2020.
The world’s first battery-powered wearable robot capable of safely lifting up to 200lbs for extended work sessions, the GUARDIAN XO is designed to augment rather than replace humans, combining human intelligence, instinct and judgment with the strength, endurance and precision of machines to address skilled labour shortages and occupational safety issues across many industries. Safe, intuitive and simple to use, the GUARDIAN XO empowers teams to do more safely, enabling more people of all descriptions to accomplish physically demanding tasks without undue stress or strain.
The GUARDIAN XO has been under development for 20 years, with the initial vision and funding for the effort coming from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and additional funding over the years coming from the Department of Defense (DoD, leading Fortune 500 companies and private investors. “The GUARDIAN XO is a great example of what can happen when private industry and government join forces with a small, innovative team to address a common challenge,” stated Ben Wolff, Chairman and CEO, Sarcos Robotics.
Sarcos’ X-TAG, which was established from 2016 and announced in 2018, is comprised of leading companies across a variety of industries, including industrial manufacturing, oil and gas, utilities, logistics, construction, automotive, aviation and aerospace. The X-TAG members have played an integrated role in assisting with the functional design, as well as performance and safety requirements, to ensure that the GUARDIAN XO meets the needs of a wealth of use cases across diverse industries.
“Full-body powered exoskeletons have significant potential to transform the industrial workforce as we know it,” observed Remy Glaisner, Research Director for Intelligent Operational Systems and Robotics, IDC. “From improving worker strength, efficiency and safety, to reducing occupational injuries caused by repetitive heavy lifting, the GUARDIAN XO is poised to be a game-changer for a wide variety of industries.”
“The GUARDIAN XO Alpha units are the culmination of twenty years of effort by our team and represent a huge step forward as we prepare to ship our first commercial GUARDIAN XO wearable robots to our customers in the latter part of 2020,” said Wolff. “Delivery of our Alpha units represents the first time in history that industrial and military customers will gain access to a full-body, powered exoskeleton that can safely enable humans to intuitively lift and dexterously manipulate objects weighing up to 200 pounds and walk at human speed for extended work sessions. With the growing shortage of skilled labour across industries and the rising social and economic costs associated with occupational musculoskeletal injuries, we have an enormous opportunity to benefit employees and companies alike.”