Following 20 years of hard work and groundbreaking advances in technology, Sarcos Robotics reached a historic milestone as we debuted the Guardian XO full-body exoskeleton robot at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, the global stage for innovation.
During CES 2020, which took place Jan. 7 – 10, we showcased the first public display and demonstration of the Guardian XO exoskeleton, providing nearly 170,000 industry professionals a glimpse into the workforce of the future. By combining human intelligence, instinct, and judgment with the power, endurance, and precision of machines, the Guardian XO exoskeleton provides employees with the enhanced physical support needed to reduce on-the-job injuries and foster workforce diversity.
Only a month earlier, in December 2019, Sarcos announced the readiness of our Guardian XO exoskeleton Alpha units and shipment to select members of our Exoskeleton Technical Advisory Group (X-TAG) and the U.S. military. This represented a huge step forward for our team, as we prepare to ship commercial units of the Guardian XO exoskeleton, the world’s first and only full-body, battery-powered robot, in late 2020.
A Look Back at CES 2020: The Guardian XO Exoskeleton Suit Arrives in Style
Our action-packed week kicked off with inclusion in the opening day keynote speech, Jaws dropped, when our Guardian XO exoskeleton strolled onto the stage for its surprise walk-on appearance. To demonstrate the powerful ways in which our exoskeleton technology will boost employees’ physical capabilities, our Guardian XO operator, Fletcher, repeatedly lifted a 150-pound suitcase sans sweat or strain. Evidencing the Guardian XO exoskeleton dexterity even further, Fletcher showed off a few lively dance moves to a delighted crowd.
Over the next few days, we took to the CES show floor to host live demos highlighting the Guardian XO exoskeleton’s potential for the aviation industry and its workers. Attendees lined up for their chance to go hands-on with our “one-arm” lift demo and feel the never-before-experienced sensation of repeatedly lifting and manipulating a 50-pound suitcase with ease. Word soon spread, and crowds flooded the booth to catch the Guardian XO exoskeleton in action and view capabilities, including a tire lift, cargo, and baggage handling, and engine maintenance and blade repair.
While enjoying conversations with Sarcos personnel, CES attendees, and potential customers eager to learn more, the feedback was humbling – the Guardian XO exoskeleton was named “Top Emerging Technology” by Digital Trends, “Best Robot of CES” by PCMag.com, “The Best Ideas and Products of CES” by VentureBeat, and recognized by WIRED Magazine as one of the smartest technologies on the show floor.
Reflecting on the sheer amount of recognition and feedback Sarcos received during our first CES appearance is, in equal measure, humbling, and inspiring. We couldn’t have imagined a more hardworking team than our engineers, whose tireless work ensured our first public showing of the Guardian XO exoskeleton was absolutely flawless. 2020 is officially off to an excellent start, and we at Sarcos are more excited than ever before to finally introduce the Guardian XO exoskeleton to the greater public by the end of the year.
Pioneering Technology in Aviation
Occupational injuries are an ongoing challenge that affects virtually every industry, with the US government reporting that we spend roughly $100 billion a year on the fallout from on-the-job back injuries alone. Occupational back injuries are second only to the common cold as the cause of why people do not show up for work in the US.
While the aviation sector has been hard at work trying to find ways to automate some of their processes, many employee tasks remain incredibly labor-intensive. That’s why Sarcos is working to develop robotic technology that will significantly reduce job-related injuries while augmenting worker strength, endurance, and precision to boost productivity ultimately.
Helping Human Workers Make Light Work of Heavy-Duty Tasks
The Guardian XO industrial exoskeleton robot augments the strength of mechanics and support teams without restricting freedom of movement, enabling up to 200 pounds (90 kilograms) to be safely lifted and manipulated without fatigue or strain. Routine airline tasks– such as moving heavy crates or transporting bulky luggage and cargo – go from a two-person job or forklift requirement to a single-person task that requires no additional pieces of heavy equipment to handle the load safely.
This ability to move substantial weight for extended periods without relying on unwieldy industrial equipment supports airline companies in improving their space utilization, optimizing work areas for quicker, more agile production, and, most importantly, keeping their team safe.
Wearing the Guardian XO exoskeleton robot provides the human operator with:
Unprecedented Strength & Endurance for Optimal Physical Protection
- Full-body design reduces operator metabolic output and physical strain by offloading up to 100% of the weight carried, as well as the weight of the robot itself
- Amplifies operator strength by a 20-to-1 ratio, making a 100 lb (45 kg) load feel as light as 5 lb (2.25 kg)
- Addresses the 35 lb ~ 200 lb (15 kg to 90 kg) “lift gap” across a wide range of industrial processes
Uninterrupted Mobile Use Via Onboard Power Source
- Offers near-continuous operation with hot-swappable batteries fully mobile performance
- Hot-swappable battery design prolongs operational uptime and flexibility
- XO® Pod docking station facilitates battery charging, speedy don/doff operation and configurations for convenient transport/shipping
Intuitive, Dexterous Operation Requiring Minimal Training
- “Get-out-of-the-way” control system uses robot-integrated sensors to eliminate latency, detecting operator movements within milliseconds
- 24 Degrees of Freedom (DOFs) allow the operator to move freely and naturally in unstructured environments
- Equipped with user-friendly Operator Control Interface (OCI) for user controls and diagnostic notification display
- Supports modular and user-selectable end effectors
Tiered Safety-First Features
- Can be donned and doffed unassisted in less than 30 seconds
- Redundant hardware and software limit-stops that enable “passive braking” to prevent operator injury
- Safely performs stumble-recovery during forward motion and executes safe recovery/exit so the operator can safely exit the suit in the event of a fall
- Can accommodate additional, customer-specialized protective gear