Sarcos Defense has won a contract to develop the Guardian XO wearable exoskeleton robot’s remote-controlled upper-body variant.

Awarded by the Office of Naval Research, the contract follows after Sarcos Defense secured a contract last week to support the development of human-scale dexterous robotic systems for the US Air Force (USAF).

The new upper-body variant will be designed to be able to attach to different mobile bases, including wheeled or tracked vehicles such as boom lifts, scissor lifts and bucket trucks.

Guardian DX defence robot variant and the Guardian XT commercial robot variant are platform-agnostic. These robots are based on the upper-body of the innovative Guardian XO full-body exoskeleton.

They are said to offer capabilities such as strength, agility, precision, on a human scale to carry out tasks in hostile environments.

The contract involves building an artificial intelligence (AI) platform to enable smart dexterous robots such as the Guardian DX robot to learn how to carry out tasks.

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This robot uses positive reinforcement and imitation machine learning (ML) technologies, named Cybernetic Training for Autonomous Robots (CYTAR), which helps it learn human-like movement and carry out tasks.

Naval Enterprise Sustainment Technologies Team (NESTT) lead Steve McKee said: “The navy is very focused on improving readiness rates.

“A key factor in achieving this objective is the deployment of new technologies that improve the turnaround time for maintenance activities, while also increasing the safety and effectiveness of our workforce.

“We are very excited to work with Sarcos Defense to productise the Guardian DX robot because it addresses a significant gap that the Navy has identified.

“Additionally, in my role as NESTT lead, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues from the marine corps, airforce, and army regarding the Guardian DX robot, and it appears it can address a number of readiness and sustainment needs across the Department of Defense (DoD).”

In March last year, Sarcos Robotics received a contract from the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to deliver a pre-production version of its Guardian XO exoskeleton.