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While robotics is the application of engineering towards replacing humans from dangerous or repetitive tasks, exoskeletons is the application of robotics and biomechatronics towards the augmentation of humans in the performance of a variety of tasks.
Exoskeletons are wearable devices that work in tandem with the user. They are placed on the user’s body and act as amplifiers that augment, reinforce or restore human performance. It can be made out of rigid materials such as metal or carbon fiber, or they can be made entirely out of soft and elastic parts.
Use cases include public safety, security, disaster recovery, infrastructure inspection, aerospace, maritime, oil and gas, and mining.
A new robotic technology could allow soldiers to move faster, become stronger, and be safer while in the field. The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has recently granted Sarcos Robotics a contract to deliver a production version of its Guardian XO, a full-body, autonomously powered robotic exoskeleton.
The exoskeleton suit drastically improves human strength and endurance without restricting the operator’s freedom of movement. It was built from a combination of advanced materials, actuators and sensors, with sophisticated software control algorithms.
Specializing in robot systems that augment the body, the company believes that augmenting humans through robotics is a better solution than replacing them by robots..
The Sarcos Robotics exoskeleton suit is based off an early prototype that was recognized globally for its innovative design and functionality, according to interestingengineering.com.
People wearing the suit are able to comfortably lift 90kg without any exertion or strain. The exoskeleton uses a combination of advanced materials, sensors, and algorithms to give wearers ultimate control.
The company has already partnered with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force for the use of the exoskeletons that could trigger the emergence of the “super soldier” while also offering officers the ability to be safe while in the field.
The suit has a host of applications across manufacturing, industrial and military industries.