Sarcos’ Guardian XO exoskeleton suit can lift up to 200 pounds and can be used in heavy industrial settings in the real-world. (Image Credit: Sarcos)
Seems we are on a path to becoming human robots. Sarcos, a robotics company, partnered up with Delta Airlines to develop the Sarcos Guardian XO, a battery-powered, full-body exoskeleton that was designed to be used for heavy construction and commercial applications requiring super-human strength while preventing injury. Guardian XO was showcased during CES 2020 in Las Vegas by the two companies.
Guardian XO is capable of allowing the wearer, an employee, of lifting up to 200 pounds repetitively. Since it bears the weight of the payload and the suit itself, it can enable a human worker to lift up excessively heavy objects for up to eight hours without suffering from strain or fatigue. The Guardian is completely battery-powered. If the battery dies down, it can be switched out for a new one. The human operating it can control it to walk forward, backward and sideways.
“We owe it to the best airline employees on the planet to explore how emerging technology can make their jobs safer and easier.” Gareth Joyce, Delta’s senior vice president – airport customer service and cargo says. “That’s why we sought out a partnership with Sarcos.”
Delta Airlines is the first company to have employees working with Sarcos to help determine how and where the Guardian XO could be used in the future. In November, Delta employees representing Airport Customer Service and Cargo visited Sarcos’ facility to see the Guardian XO and to discover how wearable robots could be beneficial in the workplace.
Guardian XO has been designed to be used in industrial sectors where lifting/moving around heavy objects is needed and where it isn’t as easy to handle them with standard machinery. The exoskeleton suit could be used to perform a variety of tasks at Delta. They include handling freight at Delta Cargo warehouses, moving maintenance equipment at Delta TechOps or lifting heavy machinery/parts for ground support equipment.
Delta will be testing out the technology in a remote location sometime during the first quarter of 2020. Their goal is to give employees the chance to have a hands-on experience with the exoskeleton suit in a real-world environment and to give feedback on its functionality.
In addition to its ability to allow the wearer to have super-human strength for up to 8 hours, Guardian XO may also exceed its physical capacity when it’s in operation. Jobs that have been restricted to only those who meet the strength requirements could be taken on by anyone who does not meet those requirements, thus enabling wearable robotics to be put to use in a heavy workplace setting.
I would love to try this suit. I wonder if it would feel like something to never take off. Could we become dependent on an exosuit? That movie Elysium is coming to mind...
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