Earlier this week, Sarcos Robotics announced that it has been awarded a contract by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to deliver a pre-production version of its Guardian XO full-body, autonomously powered robotic exoskeleton.
The XO exoskeleton is capable of operating for up to eight hours on a single battery charge while walking at three miles per hour and carrying up to 200 pounds of payload. The exoskeleton is powered by easily-swappable rechargeable batteries, enabling it to quickly resume operation when the battery does die.
The contract with USSOCOM is not the first time Sarcos has partnered with the military. The company recently announced collaborations with both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy to develop and evaluate variations of the Guardian XO for use cases specific to these services.
Development of the XO has been a long tie coming, with 17 years and $175 million of R&D investment focused on making the exoskeleton safe, intuitive, and power efficient. Last November, Sarcos shared significant power and performance enhancements to the XO, including significant improvements in power consumption, control system functionality and load transfer.
Robotics Business Review recently spoke to Sarcos CEO Ben Wolff, following the announcement of the company’s partnership with the Navy. Wolff spoke about the company’s design philosophy of augmenting, rather than replacing human workers, as well as examples of how exoskeletons can help make up for labor shortages in manufacturing jobs and aging workforces in many countries worldwide.