Guardian XO Full-Body Exoskeleton Turns Anyone Into a Superhero

Sarcos Robotics has made the first live demo of its full-body exoskeleton Guardian XO at the CES 2020 in Las Vegas. With the demo came the announcement that Delta Airlines will be the first to use it on its employees.
Guardian XO exoskeleton from Sarcos Robotics at CES 2020 7 photos
Photo: Delta Airlines
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You can see two videos of the Guardian XO in action at the bottom of the page, one being the demo at CES.

Guardian XO is a robotic suit that helps the wearer lift up to 200 pounds without breaking a sweat. This makes it ideal for a working environment like airports or cargo areas, aiding with loading and unloading or more challenging maintenance jobs. Sarcos says that wearers can lift that weight repeatedly throughout the course of a working day – so that would mean 8 full hours of having superhuman strength.

The weight of the suit itself is almost negligible, with Sarcos saying it would feel like wearing a backpack because the suit is self-supporting. The weight of the load is still felt but at a considerably smaller percentage: 130 pounds, for instance, feel like 20 pounds or less.

The advantage here, in addition to helping reduce fatigue and the risks of strains, is that it would open the door to a wider, more diverse pool of talent for the same position, as Delta puts it. In layman terms: physically fit or exceptionally strong individuals would no longer be preferred for this type of work, because a skinnier dude or dudette could do the job just as well.

The Guardian XO is powered by Lithium-Ion batteries that are hot-swappable. A single charge is enough for 2 hours of work but if employees swap the battery as they go, they can do a full day’s work without significant interruptions. Moreover, they will have complete freedom of movement within the suit.

The exoskeleton became commercially available at the end of last year and was developed in partnership with Delta. Renting one goes for about $100,000 a year and Delta will be employing several of them in a pilot program that kicks off in early 2020.

“We look for companies who are clear leaders in tech adoption and have a history of innovating to meet the needs of their customers and their employees. Delta is the natural fit in the airline industry and has proven to be a great partner as we work to fine-tune this technology for commercial deployment,” Ben Wolff, Sarcos CEO, says.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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