Guardian XO: The future of human-robot synergy has arrived
Amplify your strength with the Guardian XO
Have you ever daydreamed about strolling around in an armored mech suit, protecting you from harm and giving you impossible strength? Well, soon, this won't just be the stuff of dreams or over-the-top sci-fi franchises.
In fact, robotics manufacturer Sarcos Robotics is planning to release its creation sometime in 2021.
Sarcos Robotics is a pioneering company creating revolutionary industrial equipment to help humans work faster, safer, and more efficiently. Their products are aimed at combining the intelligence and decision-making of humans with the power of robotics.
Their latest invention, the Guardian XO, seems to take its queues straight from Hollywood sci-fi like the Matrix and Edge of Tomorrow. However, this robotic exosuit has some exciting and critical real-life applications.
Plus, it just looks cool!
What is the Guardian XO Full Body Suit?
The Guardian XO is the world's first full-body battery-powered industrial exoskeleton. At first sight, it doesn't look much different than its sci-fi counterparts. Standing on its own, it features legs, arms, and a large torso. When worn, the operator can also put on a protective helmet and chestguard.
The limbs cover the outside of the arms and legs, protecting them with a hard shell cover and articulating alongside the wearer's joints. Its wearer will be able to lift, move, and manipulate objects of up to 200 pounds (90 kilograms) without breaking a sweat.
The robotic suit will also automatically offload 100% of its weight, so it doesn't strain the user.
However, it does more than provide brute strength. The exoskeleton uses built-in intelligence combined with over 250 sensors to read environmental conditions and respond to the operator's movements.
This helps the suit automatically compensate for gravity and helping you stay balanced while lifting heavy objects.
The current model provides up to 20 hours of battery life. The hot-swappable batteries can be changed on the fly to keep the Guardian XO in action even longer.
If all of this isn't futuristic enough for you, it comes with its own XO® Pod docking station for charging and storage.
How Will the Guardian XO Be Used?
It was developed specifically for hard-working environments like manufacturing/assembly, construction, fieldwork, or warehouse/logistics. More specifically, it helps in situations where it's impossible to replace humans with the limited AI we have today.
So, you get the best of both worlds: a human brain and the power, endurance, and safety of a machine.
In construction, it can help with moving heavy equipment or materials across the site or loading it onto transportation. In the aviation industry, it can help with regular, routine maintenance on airplanes - See Sarcos Robotics partnering with Delta Air Lines.
Another obvious use is in a shipping warehouse, like an Amazon fulfillment center, where items of different sizes have to be shipped, received, moved around, and lifted around the clock.
In the future, more advanced models may help firefighters, wildlife rangers, or even rescue personnel save lives.
In general, the suit will also help companies with several challenges, like:
- Helping to bridge labor shortages
- Limiting the risk of work-site injuries to employees
- Boosting overall productivity
- Do more with the same, or lower, labor costs
Right now, Sarcos is entirely focused on bringing the Guardian XO successfully to market.
The Guardian XO has fantastic potential to drastically reduce the risk of injury or long-term strain on employees working in dangerous or physically challenging conditions. It's also a great example of how humans and technologies can synergize our strengths to do amazing things.
Considering how advanced this piece of equipment already is, who knows what will be possible in the future.
Maybe we'll be striding around in mech suits, firing Gatling guns at predatory aliens. Or, take all the groceries out of the car in one shot.
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