Sarcos Corp. and T-Mobile U.S. Inc. last week announced that they are collaborating to integrate T-Mobile 5G networking into the Sarcos Guardian XT dexterous mobile industrial robot. The Guardian XT robot is a remote-controlled robotic system designed to help people safely work in hazardous conditions, performing tasks such as lifting heavy materials or using power tools at significant heights.
The companies said 5G will improve performance and response time for remote operations so the robots can perform tasks more quickly and more in tune with their operator’s movements.
“The Sarcos Guardian XT robot requires a highly reliable, low-latency 5G network that its human operators can count on,” said John Saw, executive vice president of advanced and emerging technologies at T-Mobile. “5G was designed from the ground up for industrial applications such as this, and we cannot wait to further collaborate with Sarcos as they develop the next big thing in industrial robotics.”
Sarcos Robotics said its industrial systems augment human performance by combining human intelligence, instinct, and judgment with the strength, endurance, and precision of machines to enhance employee safety and productivity. The Salt Lake City, Utah-based company has built on more than 30 years of research and development for its mobile robots, including the Guardian S, Guardian GT, Guardian XO, and Guardian XT.
In April, Sarcos announced that it will become publicly listed through a merger with Rotor Acquisition Corp., a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), as it commercializes its assistive systems. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, and the combined company’s common stock is expected to trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “STRC.”
T-Mobile 5G to enable remote viewing and teleoperation
The Guardian XT robotic system is an upper-body variant of the award-winning Sarcos Guardian XO full-body, battery-powered industrial exoskeleton. It is platform-agnostic and can be mounted to a variety of mobile bases such as cherry pickers or basket trucks to access hard-to-reach or elevated areas.
Sarcos and T-Mobile are adding 5G connectivity to the teleoperated Guardian XT system. Credit: Business Wire
Many industries, including aerospace, automotive, construction, defense, manufacturing, maritime, and oil and gas, can use the Guardian XT, said Sarcos. Both the Guardian XO and the Guardian XT robots are expected to be commercially available by the end of 2022.
T-Mobile and Sarcos said their collaboration begins with the integration of 5G to develop a remote viewing system powered by T-Mobile’s high-bandwidth, low-latency 5G network. This will allow workers, supervisors, outside experts, and others, whether they are based locally or remote, to watch tasks being performed by the robot as it is controlled by an operator in the field.
The second phase of development will include full T-Mobile 5G wireless network integration, allowing teleoperation of the Guardian XT robot over 5G, giving operators greater flexibility and increasing their safety by enabling them to perform tasks from a distance, said the partners.
“We are proud to collaborate with T-Mobile, and we’ve made great progress leveraging their 5G network to enable the remote viewing management system,” said Scott Hopper, executive vice president of corporate and business development at Sarcos Robotics. “This is a significant first step, and we’re eager to continue the development toward full 5G wireless connectivity that will unlock a variety of new capabilities, including remote teleoperation, as we prepare for commercial availability.”
Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile U.S. is a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG. It provides nationwide 4G LTE and 5G networks and provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, and Sprint.
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