Imagine a construction site populated by workers piloting bright yellow exoskeletons with large mechanical arms helping them move heavy materials from one place to another. It almost seems like a scene from a science fiction movie, but recent developments by Sarcos Robotics may usher in a new age of bionic construction workers as soon as 2020.
In part one of this two-part series, the Broward contractor attorneys at Cotney Construction Law introduced Sarcos’ newest development in construction technology, the Guardian XO Max “robosuit.” Now, we will continue to discuss this groundbreaking invention and predict its effects on the construction industry at large.
The Guardian XO Max Makes the Impossible Possible
Sarcos’ exoskeleton reduces the amount of strain placed on muscles and joints during heavy lifting. It also increases the wearer’s strength to nearly superhuman levels. It is built to amplify strength at a 20-to-1 ratio. In other words, a 200-pound steel beam would only feel as if it weighs 10 pounds. All weight contributed by the object being lifted and the suit itself is transferred via the arms and legs of the exoskeleton to the ground. With an eight-hour battery life on a single charge and only 400 watts of power needed to achieve a steady rate of movement, the Guardian XO Max is already a technological marvel.
The functionality of the robosuit is extremely intuitive. The wearer can bend, twist, and lift naturally thanks to a complex network of sensors that allow the wearer to manipulate and control the suit using their natural reflexes. Although the wearer may feel as if they are piloting the suit, it’s more reminiscent of existing wearable technologies than one would initially expect. This means utilizing the Guardian XO Max is relatively easy for construction professionals at all levels. As a result, there’s very little instruction or training required to use Sarcos’ robosuit.
Can the Guardian XO Max Change the Construction Industry?
When the Guardian XO Max is released commercially in 2020, it will not only improve productivity, efficiency, and safety on the construction site, it will also attract new workers. Millennials and members of the more recent Generation Z share a close kinship with technology, so introducing this exciting new development could potentially bring in more workers from other fields or help undetermined high school graduates transition into a career in construction instead of spending four or more years in academia. Simply put, construction exoskeletons are exciting and fresh. There’s nothing else quite like it that can be utilized by your everyday worker, so it’s conceivable that the construction industry’s “shiny new toy” will attract some curiosity from outsiders.
This is only one example of how the construction industry is changing. New technology means new laws and regulations. Are you prepared?
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.