Sarcos Defense this week announced that the U.S. Marine Corps Logistics Innovation Office has awarded it a contract to deliver an Alpha version of the Guardian XO exoskeleton. The company said it is scheduled to deliver the full-body, powered, industrial wearable robot by the end of this year.
Salt Lake City, Utah-based Sarcos Defense is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sarcos Robotics, which develops robots and other electro-mechanical systems for inspection, security, and augmenting human strength and endurance. Sarcos Robotics won a 2020 RBR50 innovation award for the development of the Guardian XO. The company announced the exoskeleton’s commercial availability in December 2019. It unveiled the Guardian XO at CES 2020, and Delta Air Lines Inc. began testing it in January.
Sarcos Defense said it is led by retired U.S. military officers who understand the current and future threat environment and are uniquely equipped to deliver solutions that meet the needs of the modern military. Working with the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal and international government agencies, the company identifies capability gaps and undertakes research and development efforts, as well as rapid systems integration. Its goal is to transform Sarcos’ commercial products into specialized, mission-ready systems that meet the military’s specified requirements.
Sarcos Defense exoskeleton to aid Marines
Sarcos Defense said the Guardian XO can help the Marine Corps multiply the manpower needed for its logistics and sustainment modernization priorities. The exosuit is designed to be comfortably worn for an entire shift and can lift up to 200 pounds for extended work sessions. Like Delta, the Marines hope to use the Guardian XO Alpha to safely and efficiently augment human strength while moving supplies and conducting tasks.
The Alpha deployment is part of the Marine Commandant’s vision for flexible Expeditionary Advanced Basing Operations (EABO) to support distributed operations. The U.S. Marines said they plan to test use cases that would increase throughput speed while decreasing its manned logistics footprint. Sarcos Defense said the ultimate goal is to provide troops with an edge by boosting their capabilities and dramatically improving safety and productivity in a variety of materials handling applications.
“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,” stated Ben Wolff, CEO of 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, the U.S. Navy, and USSOCOM [U.S. Special Operations Command], who we are also working with on our exoskeleton technology.”