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Sarcos Robotics (Sarcos) and T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) today announced a collaboration to integrate T-Mobile 5G into the Sarcos Guardian XT highly dexterous mobile industrial robot. The Guardian XT robot is a remote-controlled robotic system designed to help humans safely work in hazardous conditions, performing tasks such as lifting heavy materials or using power tools at significant heights. With T-Mobile 5G integration, the companies aim to improve performance and response time for remote operations, so the robots can perform tasks more quickly and more in tune with their operator’s movements.
The Guardian XT robotic system is an upper-body variant of the award-winning Sarcos Guardian XO full-body, battery-powered industrial exoskeleton. It is platform-agnostic and can be mounted to a variety of mobile bases to access hard-to-reach or elevated areas and applies to many industries, including aerospace, automotive, aviation, construction, defense, industrial manufacturing, maritime, and oil and gas. Both the Guardian XO and the Guardian XT robots are expected to be commercially available by the end of 2022.
T-Mobile 5G to Power Remote Viewing and Teleoperation
The T-Mobile and Sarcos collaboration begins with the integration of 5G to develop a remote viewing system powered by T-Mobile’s high bandwidth, low latency 5G network. This enables workers, supervisors, outside experts, and others, whether they are based locally or remote, to watch tasks being performed by the robot as it is controlled by an operator in the field. The second phase of development is expected to include full T-Mobile 5G wireless network integration, allowing teleoperation of the Guardian XT robot over 5G, giving operators greater flexibility and increasing their safety by enabling them to perform tasks from a distance.
“We are proud to collaborate with T-Mobile and we’ve made great progress leveraging their 5G network to enable the remote viewing management system,” said Scott Hopper, Executive Vice President of Corporate and Business Development, Sarcos Robotics. “This is a significant first step and we’re eager to continue the development toward full 5G wireless connectivity that will unlock a variety of new capabilities, including remote teleoperation, as we prepare for commercial availability.”
“The Sarcos Guardian XT robot requires a highly reliable, low latency 5G network that its human operators can count on,” said John Saw, EVP of Advanced & Emerging Technologies at T-Mobile. “5G was designed from the ground up for industrial applications such as this and we cannot wait to further collaborate with Sarcos as they develop the next big thing in industrial robotics.”
On April 6, 2021, Sarcos announced that it will become publicly listed through a merger transaction with Rotor Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: ROT.U, ROT, and ROT WS) (“Rotor”), a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, at which point the combined company’s common stock is expected to trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol STRC.
This announcement is one of the first formal partnerships between a robotics company and a 5G provider that enables remote control via cellular 5G connection. The communication speeds and low latency of 5G enable a stable, high speed connection for devices like the Sarcos Guardian XT. As 5G networks continue to be built out, more applications for 5G will arise to support the connectivity of industrial and service automation applications.
Some autonomous mobile robot providers are starting to look at 5G as a option to WiFi connectivity enabling the connection between AMRs and supervisory or fleet management solutions. Likewise, several manufacturers of AMRs are also looking at 5G connectivity to support remote diagnostic and troubleshooting data exchange with the manufacturer.
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