A wearable exo-skeleton being developed by Sarcos Robotics will help employees lift up to 200 pounds and avoid injuries. Image Via Sarcos Robotics

Ripley Would Be Proud of This Gear

Delta Airlines wants to outfit its workers with a “bionic” kind of suit.

“There is no greater responsibility we have than to keep our people and our customers safe,” said Gil West, Delta’s chief operating officer, in a statement.

Delta joined the Exoskeleton Technical Advisory Group, or X-TAG, to work with Sarcos Robotics, along with other industrial companies, to assist in the suit’s development. Fitting employees with “wearable robotics can build on our strong personal safety culture and further protect our people from injury by giving them an additional layer of strength and protection,” West told the Atlanta Business Journal.

Writer David Allison shows the ever-expanding use of exo-skeletons in industry. The concept of these wearable suits first brought excitement in the film “Aliens,” with Sigourney Weaver in the lead role, wearing a suit that made her nearly invincible.

Such suits are expected in action by the end of 2019.

The Sarcos Guardian XO and XO MAX robots are battery-powered exoskeletons that enable workers to perform hours of physical activity that would otherwise be impossible for a single human to perform, the company says. The Guardian XO robot is capable of repeatedly lifting and supporting up to 80 pounds without fatigue or strain for up to a four-hour work session. The XO MAX is capable of lifting and supporting up to 200 pounds without fatigue or strain for up to an eight-hour work session.

According to Sarcos, the human operator bears none of the load of the exoskeleton or its payload, and can be donned and doffed in 30 seconds. These exoskeletons require minimal operator training because they permit natural, fluid and intuitive movement. The Guardian XO and XO MAX robots are already in development for commercial use.

Sigourney Weaver in “Aliens” wears an exoskeleton that will soon be possible.

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