U.S. Marines To Get The Sarcos Defense Guardian XO Exoskeleton
30 Jul 2020
While a lot of articles have been written about the exoskeleton’s great potential to be used in the battlefield, like giving the soldier more times the strength and carrying power, so far there has been no adaption as an official gear in any of the world’s advanced militaries. So while it’s not yet ready for the battlefield, the US Marine Corps decided to use the exoskeleton in area that matters a lot in supporting the Marines around the world --- logistics.
The USMC just awarded Sarcos Defense a contract to supply their Guardian XO Exoskeleton Alpha version for the grunts to use by the end of the year. It is not a surprise here as some companies that are heavy on logistics are using exoskeletons in their logistical lines. An Exoskeleton can allow one Marine do the work of up to 10 people.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Yuritzy Gomez
According to Sardos Defense, the Guardian XO “makes light work of heavy-duty tasks, empowering the operator to safely lift and manipulate up to 200 pounds (90 kilograms) without fatigue or strain.” That means that backbreaking tasks in logistics, such as carrying munitions and heavy equipment can be done safely without straining the Marine. It also means freeing up other Marines to do other important tasks or in a cooperative task, can do the job at hand faster and with ease.
Too bad that it is not the same USCM P-5000 Power Loader that Riley (Sigourney Weaver) used in “Aliens” where she battled the alien creature in the final showdown in the movie. The Guardian XO may be too bulky and slow to fast lateral movements in the battlefield, making the soldier a bigger target. The other branches are also looking into exoskeletons that can be used in many areas needed to run a military, with a pressing goal of having one to be used in combat given the load that many soldiers carry when going to the field.
Press release from Sarcos Defense on the contract:
Sarcos Defense Awarded Contract for Guardian XO Exoskeleton Alpha Version by U.S. Marine Corps
SALT LAKE CITY. (July 28, 2020). Sarcos Defense, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sarcos Robotics, today announced that the company has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Marine Corps Logistics Innovation Office program for the delivery of an Alpha version of the Guardian® XO® full-body, powered industrial exoskeleton robot. Delivery of the Guardian XO Alpha unit to the U.S. Marines is scheduled by the end of 2020.
As the U.S. Marine Corps focuses on logistics and sustainment modernization as one of their key priorities and looks to reduce the manpower required to conduct expeditionary operations, the Guardian XO is well-suited to fulfill a wide variety of logistics applications to address their needs and requirements.
As part of the Commandant’s vision for flexible Expeditionary Advanced Basing Operations (EABO) to support distributed operations, the Guardian XO Alpha deployment will allow the U.S. Marines to test use cases that will decrease their manned logistics footprint while increasing throughput speed. The ultimate goal is to provide troops with an edge by boosting their capabilities and dramatically improving safety and productivity in a variety of logistics 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,” 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.”
The Guardian XO Alpha was publicly unveiled earlier this year at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show to wide acclaim. It received many top honors at CES, including being named “Top Emerging Technology” by Digital Trends, “Best Robot” by PCMag.com, “The Best Ideas and Products of CES” by VentureBeat and was recognized by WIRED Magazine as being one of the smartest technologies on the show floor.
For more information about Sarcos Defense, please visit https://www.sarcos.com/defense.