Powered Exoskeleton Companies
Some companies that are providing powered exoskeletons that work with body movements and aren't restricted to lifting assistance include Lockheed Martin that manufactures ONYX and Sarcos Robotics that manufactures Guardian XO.
- Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. The company is involved in the research, design, and manufacturing of advanced technology systems, products, and services.
- Exoskeleton technology is one of its areas of expertise with its primary focus being on powered exoskeletons to not only improve endurance and safety in industrial settings but also introduce new capabilities to the military.
- The Lockheed Martin ONYX is a wearable exoskeleton that both supports and boosts the energy of a user, especially during a physically demanding task because it is designed to provide strength and endurance.
- Other than helping the user to lift heavy loads, the ONYX also helps in tasks that require repetitive kneeling, squatting, and climbing something that makes it very attractive to the military, responsive forces, and industrial workers who have to squat and pick heavy objects.
- The ONYX utilizes sensors that are located in the hips, knees, and feet to collect data based on the user's body movements and then send it to a control module on the waist. With this data, the powered exoskeleton is able to not only predict the user’s next movements but also react accordingly.
- Once the ONYX predicts the user's next body movements, it is able to determine the force needed and the timing for it to be applied to the motors at the knees to give the person a boost of assistance and energy.
- In addition to being able to lift heavy loads, the ONYX also helps an individual to be able to hold his/her weight in order to go much further. For example, a trial run was conducted where a person was asked to do squats on his own and he was able to complete 25 of them but with the help of the ONYX, he reached 72 squats before the team told him to stop.
- Therefore, other than helping industrial workers to lift heavy loads, the ONYX can also help soldiers carry huge guns and other loads, leap from tall buildings, squat and kneel for long, and cross rough terrains.
Key Features of the Product
- Some of the ONYX key features include:
- Sarcos Robotics, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City Utah, is a global robotics company that designs and produces exoskeletons that work with body movements to prevent injuries, save lives, as well as transform the way work gets done.
- The Sarcos Guardian XO is a full-body exoskeleton that is meant to help workers lift heavy things. The suit allows a person to lift up to 200 pounds repeatedly for up to 8 hours at a time without any exertion or fatigue.
- However, the full-body exoskeleton is not restricted to lifting assistance only. It combines instinct, judgment, and human intelligence with its power and precision to increase productivity.
- Other than helping workers lift, the Guardian XO uses force sensors to detect a person's movements and then move its limbs in parallel while smoothly matching the body's movement with its hardware making it comfortable and easy to use.
- Moreover, for Guardian XO to move or match a person's body movement, the person needs to be holding triggers. So for instance, if the person releases the arms triggers, the exoskeleton's arms will lock in place and continue to hold the heavy material that was being carried. This is beneficial because it gives an individual the opportunity to simultaneously complete dexterous tasks like checking their phone among others.
- In addition, the joints of the Guardian XO are designed not to exceed a human's range of motion which means that it cannot bend or twist in ways that will injure a person.
- Another interesting thing about the Guardian XO is that its joints' speeds are fast enough to allow a person to run. And if someone accidentally falls, the exoskeleton is designed as a roll cage so there is a high probability that the person will not be injured.
- Therefore, other than assisting in the lifting of heavy objects, the Guardian XO also allows a user to simultaneously use his/her hands to complete other tasks while the exoskeleton arms continue to hold the heavy load, prevent injury by not exceeding a human's range of motion, as well as act as a roll cage in case of a fall when one is running. This makes it uniquely equipped to used in various industries such as industrial manufacturing, military & defense, oil & gas, maritime, and distribution & warehousing among others.
Key Features of the Product
- Some of the notable features of Guardian XO include:
- "Passive braking" to prevent injury in the event of a sudden power loss
- Accommodating additional customer-specialized protective gear
- 24 Degrees of Freedom (DOFs) to allow a user to move both freely and naturally
- User-friendly Operator Control Interface (OCI) for user controls and diagnostic notification display