Close

Industrial Workers Will Soon Don Exoskeletons and Achieve Super Strength

Sarcos Robotics’ full-body suits will let factory workers lift 90 kilograms without breaking a sweat

4 min read
Illustration: Blood Bros.
Illustration: Blood Bros.

What’s the most important thing for people to know about the full-body exoskeleton from Sarcos Robotics, which can turn an assembly-line worker into a superhero? “We’re taking orders,” says Sarcos CEO Ben Wolff.

The company has been working on this wearable robotics technology since 2000, when engineers in its Salt Lake City headquarters began cobbling together experimental supersoldier suits for the U.S. military. A 2010 proto type, which enabled the wearer to punch through wooden boards, earned the nickname “the Iron Man suit” in homage to the high-tech gear in the eponymous comic book and movies. But that bulky version kept the user tethered to the wall by a power cord—something that would presumably interfere with superhero activities—and the suit remained in R&D.

Keep reading... Show less

Stay ahead of the latest trends in technology. Become an IEEE member.

This article is for IEEE members only. Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Jay Last, a Father of Silicon Valley, Dies at 92

IEEE also mourns the loss of several former society presidents

4 min read
A smiling older man in glasses

Jay Last

Max S. Gerber/Redux

Jay Last

Silicon Valley pioneer

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

How Claude Shannon Helped Kick-start Machine Learning

The “father of information theory” also paved the way for AI

3 min read
A photo of a man in a suit with his hand on a toy in a maze.
KEYSTONE/GETTY IMAGES

Among the great engineers of the 20th century, who contributed the most to our 21st-century technologies? I say: Claude Shannon.

Shannon is best known for establishing the field of information theory. In a 1948 paper, one of the greatest in the history of engineering, he came up with a way of measuring the information content of a signal and calculating the maximum rate at which information could be reliably transmitted over any sort of communication channel. The article, titled “A Mathematical Theory of Communication,” describes the basis for all modern communications, including the wireless Internet on your smartphone and even an analog voice signal on a twisted-pair telephone landline. In 1966, the IEEE gave him its highest award, the Medal of Honor, for that work.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

Why Multi-Functional Robots Will Take Over Commercial Robotics

Single-task robots will soon make way for multi-application robots of the future

4 min read

By integrating new functional accessories like a disinfection module to its Neo 2 floor-scrubbing robot, Avidbots is transforming it into a multi-purpose robotic platform.

Avidbots

This is a sponsored article brought to you by Avidbots.

The days of having single-purpose robots for specific tasks are behind us. A robot must be multi-functional to solve today’s challenges, be cost-effective, and increase the productivity of an organization.

Yet, most indoor autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) today are specialized, often addressing a single application, service, or market. These robots are highly effective at completing the task at hand, however, they are limited to addressing a single use case. While this approach manages development costs and complexity for the developer, it may not be in the best interest of the customer.

To set the stage for increased growth, the commercial AMR market must evolve and challenge the status quo. A focus on integrating multiple applications and processes will increase overall productivity and efficiency of AMRs.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less