Sarcos Successfully Demonstrates Robotics for Shipyard Maintenance, Inspection, and Repair

Sarcos Guardian DX/XT, Sapien 6M, Sapien Sea Class, and Guardian S robots show potential for teleoperation in field trials.


The U.S. Navy has worked with Sarcos to develop the Guardian teleoperated dexterous robot.
Sarcos recently showed the capabilities of its robots for dexterous manipulation and teleoperation on the ground and at height for the U.S. Navy.

Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corp. today announced that it successfully completed a field trial of robotic systems for maintenance, inspection, and repair activities for the U.S. Navy. The company said it “has made significant strides in developing robotic technologies to usher in a new era of improved worker safety and productivity for shipyard operations.”

Sarcos performed field tests last month at the Repair Technology Exercise (REPTX) at the Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, Calf. The company said that robots can improve the efficiency of sailors and shipyard workers.

Guardian XT REPTX demonstration

The Guardian DX teleoperated robot removes flaking paint from a vertical surface on the bow of the Self Defense Test Ship at REPTX. Source: Sarcos

“It is imperative for the U.S. Navy to find solutions that will enable us to maintain mission-readiness, particularly while at sea,” said Janice Bryant, expeditionary and sustainment technology manager at Naval Sea Systems Command.

“The technologies demonstrated at REPTX for ship inspection, sustainment, and repair using tele-operated, at-height capabilities will have a significant benefit to increase Navy readiness,” she added. “We look forward to continuing our work with solution providers to rapidly field for effect.”

Sarcos proves systems on the ground and at height

Sarcos said its suite of systems performed successfully on the ground and at height. It includes the Guardian DX teleoperated dexterous robot for defense, the Sapien 6M dexterous robot, the Sapien Sea Class underwater robot, and the Guardian S remote visual inspection robot.

The company noted that its robots can perform the following shipyard tasks:

  • The Sapien 6M and Guardian DX robots can be teleoperated and safely use a variety of tools while working at height aboard ship or pier side. They can be mounted to a mobile lift platform to perform visual inspections, remove rust and paint with off-the-shelf tools, laser ablation, and repairs using cold spray.
  • The Sapien Sea Class underwater robot, integrated with a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV), is designed for both shallow and deep underwater use up to 1 km and can perform inspections on a ship’s hull, propeller shaft, and propeller shaft tube, along with recovering unidentified objects from a ship’s hull.
  • The Guardian S visual inspection robot, which can traverse ferromagnetic vertical surfaces and access confined spaces, can be deployed inside and outside a ship to identify foreign objects.

“Working at height in dynamic environments, such as shipyards, is extremely dangerous work,” said Kiva Allgood, president and CEO of Sarcos. “Sarcos’ portfolio of teleoperated robots improves shipyard operations by solving critical pain points including human resource constraints, productivity, and safety.”

Portfolio includes teleoperation, mobile manipulation

Other Sarcos products for civilian use include the Guardian GT, a tracked mobile manipulator, the Guardian HLS pneumatic heavy-lift system, and the Guardian XT teleoperated dexterous manipulator.

The company is also known for its Guardian XO industrial exoskeleton, and it added Pittsburgh-based RE2 Robotics' Sapien robot arms to its portfolio in April.

The company, which recently moved to new headquarters in Salt Lake City, serves the aerospace, construction, defense, energy, and medical industries. Sarcos recently appointed experienced financial executive Drew Hammer as chief financial officer.

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The U.S. Navy has worked with Sarcos to develop the Guardian teleoperated dexterous robot.

Robot Technologies