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These Robots Change the Future of Work

Most people know about the American superhero “Iron Man,” who created a mechanized suit of armor to save his life and flee from his captors and later save the world.

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Image credit: Iron Man Movie

Robotics played a crucial role in bringing most of these science fiction characters to life, and Iron Man is no exception. While it’s not a flying suit, Sarcos Robotics’ Guardian® XO® is the name of the futuristic exoskeleton suit that looks like something out of a science fiction flick.

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Guardian XO. Image Credit: Sarcos Robotics

It is the first battery-powered industrial robot that combined human intelligence with the power and precision of robots, making it an excellent example of human-machine synergy.

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Guardian XO. Image Credit: Sarcos Robotics

The exoskeleton suit can increase the operator’s strength to lift loads up to 200 lbs (90 kg) safely and injury-free for 8 hours a day, making the operator about 20X stronger (the operator feels that 100 lbs weigh like 5 lbs). The person wearing the suit can walk at about 3 mph (4.8 kph), which is an average walking pace for a human.

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Guardian XO for lifting heavy items. Image Credit: Sarcos Robotics

This exoskeleton has 24 degrees of freedom (dofs) or rotational joints. This lets the exoskeleton move freely and naturally in unstructured environments. The end effector design is modular, and the user can select which end-effector to use based on the application.

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Guardian XO can work in unstructured environments. Image Credit: Sarcos Robotics

The power comes from three lithium-ion batteries that allow for the continuous operation of the exoskeleton. The XO Pod Docking Station is where the exoskeleton can be stored and charged while not in use or if the operator needs to take a break.

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Guardian XO docking station. Image Credit: Sarcos Robotics

The control system of the exoskeleton features dynamic gravity and inertia compensation that offloads 100% of the exoskeleton’s weight during use. The control system detects the operator’s movements through embedded sensors within milliseconds, promoting responsiveness. The exoskeleton’s redundant hardware and software provide passive braking during sudden power loss.

It takes less than 30 seconds to take the suit off or put it back on if needed.

The exoskeleton is IP65 rated, meaning that it can be used while raining and in an outdoor environment or can be cleaned with high-pressure water jets.

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Guardian XO can work in different weather conditions. Image Credit: Sarcos Robotics

The applications of this robot designed to enhance worker safety and efficiency can be vast; from Oil & Gas industries to Construction to Automotive to Military & Defense are just some of the potential applications. One interesting application is in airplane maintenance and possibly baggage handling.

The robot is offered through a Robot as a Service (RaaS) lease and can multiply an individual employee’s productivity with the cost of a single employee without occupational injuries that provides a return on investment (ROI) for customers.

Do you remember the Power Loader from Aliens, which was a mechanized exoskeleton used for lifting heavy materials and objects? Sacros Robotics’s Guardian GT is a human-controlled force-amplifying robot that can be used for heavy lifting, welding, and other tasks and reminds us of the Power Loader.

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Power Loader from Aliens.
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Guardian GT. Image Credit: Sarcos Robotics

Each arm features seven degrees of freedom (dofs) like the human arm, and the robot is teleoperated by a human. It can lift a payload of up to 1000 lbs, and the robot arms act as a natural extension of the operator’s arm movements.

This robot is designed to provide dexterity and power to the operator that can also have possible first responder, disaster recovery, and humanitarian applications. In the video, Kristi explains the difference between this robot and the Guardian Xo in terms of applications.

Guardian® XT™ is another robot developed by Sarcos Robotics for teleoperation of dangerous tasks, which is an arm-mounted dexterous mobile robot controlled remotely by a human using a head-mounted display featuring augmented reality.

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Guardian XT. Image Credit: Sarcos Robotics

The platform can be mounted on any mobile base depending on the application, and both arms can lift up to 200 lbs. The robot features 7 DOFs for the arm/wrist and 2 DOFs for the torso.

SenSuit™ wearable controller provides the dexterous control of the arms as well as human-robot interaction. Head Mounted Display (HMD) for the operator features augmented reality and built-in head tracking.

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Guardian XT SenSuit wearable controller. Image Credit: Sarcos Robotics

The main application is for any delicate task that is difficult to reach and unsafe for human workers, such as teleoperation of tools (for example, welding) and tele-inspections.

Last but not least is the Guardian® S, another awesome robot from Sarcos Robotics, designed for inspection and surveillance purposes that is also commercially available.

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Guardian S. Image Credit: Sarcos Robotics

This robot can reliably go through uneven terrain and reach places dangerous for humans to get and can perform visual and sensor-based inspections remotely. GPS, Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), and six 4K 360-degree color cameras are some of the sensors embedded in this robot.

A trained operator can control the Guardian S robot with a hand-held Operator Control Unit (OCU), which uses Wi-Fi or optional wireless radio links (multiple ISM bands or LTE). Kristi explains this further in the video.

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Guardian S can be controlled by a hand-held operator control unit. Image Credit: Sarcos Robotics

From Boiler inspection to Mud Drum inspection, and literally, any dangerous place that humans cannot go can be inspected using this robot. The robot has up to 3 miles of battery capacity, it is portable since it only weighs 17 lbs, it features two-way, real-time video, voice, and data communication, and it is dustproof and water protected.

Sarcos Robotics’ mission is to transform how the work gets done. In the video, Kristi explains her responsibilities at Sarcos Robotics, the history of the company, along with the demand and need for its robots.

Watch the video version at the link below:

Listen to only the audio version here:

🙏 Huge thanks to Kristi Martindale, Chief Product & Marketing Officer, Sarcos Robotics:

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