US military plans to use a new type of exoskeleton
According to the developers, the new exoskeleton that the US military is going to test turns a person into a "soft-touch forklift." They look, of course, still not as cool as in "The Edge of the Future", it is not yet possible to load exoskeletons with ammunition, but still this is something.
The development belongs to the American company Sarcos Robotics. Its exoskeletons will be adopted by representatives of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Well, this robotic exoskeleton is called “Guardian XO”.
As far as you can understand, the Pentagon itself became interested in the development of the company. Earlier, cooperation with Sarcos Robotics was announced by the US Navy, which will also take exoskeletons into service, although in very limited quantities. In addition, since August 2018, the US Air Force has been testing Sarcos Robotics systems, however, not for military operations, but for working in the field of logistics.
The dead weight of the exoskeleton is about 90 kilograms.
As far as one can understand, such systems are gradually becoming more popular, they can be called mainstream, since not only the military work with exoskeletons. Car manufacturers (several companies at once) have recently expressed a desire to use the device in production. Well, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved exoskeletons for use by people with leg problems.
In February, Sarcos Robotics released a press release stating that exoskeletons are turning their carrier into a soft-touch forklift. The range of applications of Guardian XO is very wide - it can be used everywhere - from factories and mines to construction sites.
The system is powered by electricity. Exoskeletons are stand-alone, lithium batteries are used as a power source. Although the characteristics of the batteries were not disclosed, it is known that they last for about 8 hours. Battery replacement can be done in hot mode.
It is worth noting that there are quite a lot of exoskeletons now, the main problem that stops the potential target audience is uncomfortable energy sources . Some systems are powered by network cables, some others are also from batteries, but with low capacity. According to Sarcos representatives, their system is just what you need.
Development began a long time ago - about 17 years ago. The project budget is $ 175 million. The company planned to release its exoskeletons only after they became safe, intuitive to the user and energy efficient. There are several versions of the systems; they differ in carrying capacity.
Ten years ago, the first prototype was born, which was hydraulic and consumed about 6,000 watts. But now the consumption of the entire exoskeleton is only 400 watts.