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Video: Watch a Robot Perform Tree-Cutting Via Teleoperation


July 7, 2021

Sarcos Robotics, which develops robotic systems that augment humans for productivity and safety tasks, has announced a successful demonstration of its SenSuit controller garment. As part of its technologies designed for enhanced teleoperation of the Guardian XT mobile robotic system, the demonstration leveraged Sarcos’ proprietary motion caption controller to enable enhanced teleoperation of the robot’s dexterous arms. 

The company showed off the advanced teleoperation control system, including the SenSuit and Guardian XT, in a tree-trimming demo in Salt Lake City. The Guardian XT robot is capable of lifting and manipulating up to 200 lbs. (90 kg), making it ideal for precision tasks and performing work in unstructured environments.

According to the 2019 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, workers falling from height in the U.S. is the fourth-most disabling and costly injury after overexertion, falling from the same level, and being struck by an object or equipment. Sarcos said its Guardian XT system – the upper-body variant of its Guardian XO full-body, battery-powered industrial exoskeleton – is designed to perform intricate and dangerous tasks that require human-like dexterity. The system can be used to keep an operator at a safe distance in challenging and hazardous environments, including at height. The system is platform-agnostic and can be mounted to a variety of mobile bases to access hard-to-reach or elevated areas, and Sarcos said this can be applied to several industries, including power utilities, oil and gas, chemical processing, food processing, construction, infrastructure maintenance and repair, heavy manufacturing, maritime, distribution and warehousing, and park, forest, and commercial property management.




Sarcos said the Guardian XT will be commercially available by the end of 2022, integrating the SenSuit wearable controller and a high-definition, virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR)-based head-mounted display, which delivers intuitive control of the robot and enables the use of standard trade tools.

“We are proud of the significant strides we have made in enhancing teleoperation capabilities for the Guardian XT robot as we march towards commercialization next year,” said Ben Wolff, chairman and CEO of Sarcos Robotics. “Our new control system is expected to enable our customers to seamlessly and efficiently perform difficult tasks and to operate in dangerous environments – including at height – while keeping the operator safe and out of harm’s way. We believe the integration of these advanced technologies, including our proprietary SenSuit controller, will set the gold standard for the teleoperation of robotic systems in the coming years.”

The SenSuit controller enables the Guardian XT robot to mimic the operator’s movements in real time. The interior measurement unit (IMU)-based motion tracker communicates with a robot, leveraging Sarcos’ proprietary force feedback technologies. The robot is equipped with 3-degrees of freedom end effectors that enable dexterous control of trade tools and materials, including handheld power tools, welding and cutting equipment, inspection and test equipment, parts and components, hazardous materials, and retail inventory goods, among others, the company said.

Earlier this year, Sarcos announced it will become publicly listed through a merger transaction with Rotor Acquisition Corp, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company. For more details on the Guardian XT, visit the Sarcos website here.

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