Sarcos Robotics announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sarcos Defense, has been awarded a contract for the use of its Guardian XO exoskeleton Alpha unit by the U.S. Marine Corps through a Logistics Innovation Office program. The Guardian XO unit will be delivered to the USMC to test for use cases that will decrease their manned logistics footprint while increasing throughput speed. Delivery of the Guardian XO Alpha unit to the U.S. Marines is scheduled by the end of 2020.
The Guardian XO Alpha is a full-body powered exoskeleton uniquely positioned within the exoskeleton industry. If passive and powered exoskeletons can be separated similar to the car industry, then Sarcos’ wearable robot will be the big-rig to the smaller trucks and sport-coupes. There won’t be one exoskeleton that fits all needs, just like with vehicles. For example, a Honda Civic is not good for towing cargo and a multi-axle truck is inefficient for the daily commute. This contract will give the U.S. Marine Corps the opportunity to test the use cases of the Guardian XO to their specific logistics and distribution operations. The ultimate goal isn’t to introduce technology for the sake of having soldiers march in futuristic-looking power suits, but to evaluate if it boosts troops’ efficiency and capability while increasing their safety.
“The Sarcos Defense team is very pleased that the U.S. Marine Corps will be testing use cases for our Guardian XO Alpha version this year,” said Ben Wolff, CEO, Sarcos Defense. “Our military branches need to regularly address changing personnel issues and reduce the risk of injury from performing heavy-lifting tasks. We believe that our full-body, powered exoskeletons will be a huge benefit to the Marines as well as the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and USSOCOM, who we are also working with on our exoskeleton technology.”
Conducting in-person testing during Covid-19 is not a trivial task for U.S. agencies and could be seen as a sign of how much various branches of the U.S. Military are interested in understanding, evaluating, and exploring exoskeleton technology.
For more on the Guardian XO Alpha full-body powered industrial exoskeleton see the recap of our visit to Sarcos Robotics HQ: Guardian XO Alpha: Up Close and Personal with the Sarcos Robotics Full-Body Powered Exoskeleton