Robots are already enjoying a wide range of industrial applications. However, there appears to be a struggle to combine the potential of robots with the natural intelligence and decision-making ability of humans. Sarcos hopes their latest invention, the Guardian XO, will fill this gap by ‘combining human intelligence, instinct, and judgment with the power, endurance, and precision of machines.’ The robot is essentially a full-body powered exoskeleton that augments the strength of the operator without restricting their freedom of movement.
Design and features
The Guardian XO is perfect for industries that require a considerable amount of manual labor as well as military applications. The battery-powered wearable robot gives the wearer superhuman strength, allowing them to lift weights up to 200 pounds while feeling very little to no stress or strain. An operator can put on the suit in less than 30 seconds, unassisted. The manufacturers further assure that there are additional provisions for sudden egress.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of Guardian XO is that it’s goal is to complement humans, and not replace them. Because each Guardian unit has to have an operator, the instinct, judgment, intelligence, and decision-making that render humans irreplaceable will still be retained. If you’ve been searching for a reliable way to boost productivity and reducing injuries in your factory, the Guardian XO is the ideal product for you.
Battery-powered for mobile use
Guardian XO powered exoskeleton runs on battery to make it suitable for field applications and continuous industrial use. The robot features a hot-swappable battery design that further extends operational uptime and flexibility. There is also a patented docking station that facilitates battery charging as well as easy transport or shipping.
Enhanced maneuverability and mobility
Maneuverability and movement would naturally be paramount for a robot that can only function with a human wearer. To cater to this, there are several advanced control systems that ensure the operator doesn’t have any problems while putting the robot to work. They include:
- ‘Get-out-of-the-way’ control system: Uses robot-integrated sensors to eliminate latency. As a result, the robot detects and responds to the operator’s movement within milliseconds.
- 24 degrees of freedom: This feature allows the operator to move freely in environments that would have been difficult for larger machinery to navigate.
- User-friendly Operator Control Interface: This facilitates smooth user controls and diagnostic notification display.
- Hands-free mode: Allows the operator to lock the suit arms and complete dexterous tasks that require human hands while the suit remains strapped.
Added strength and endurance
Guardian XO effectively addresses the 15 kg to 90 kg ‘lift gap’ that limits a lot of industrial processes. With the robot, the handler can lift up to 90kg of weight while maintaining minimal metabolic output and physical strain. The exoskeleton bears the full weight of the object, and the operator is only responsible for movement and directions. According to the manufacturers, Guardian XO amplifies operator strength by a whopping factor of 20!
The Guardian XO powered exoskeleton is not yet available for commercial use. The first set of shipments were delivered to the U.S. Military and a few other companies in January 2020. The manufacturers hope the robot will be available commercially by the last quarter of the year. You can visit the official Sarcos website for more information.