Sarcos Robotics-subsidiary Sarcos Defense has secured a contract to support the development of human-scale dexterous robotic systems for the US Air Force (USAF).

Awarded the Air Force Technology Acceleratory Program (AFWERX), the contract involves building an artificial intelligence (AI) platform to enable smart dexterous robots for its customer the Center for Rapid Innovation (CRI) at Air Force Research Labs (AFRL).

The platform will be based on the upper portion of Sarcos’ Guardian XO wearable exoskeleton robot.

This robot leverages positive reinforcement and imitation machine learning (ML) technologies called Cybernetic Training for Autonomous Robots (CYTAR) to learn human-like movement and carry out tasks.

According to the company, Sarcos AI system is capable of performing tasks correctly in the first instance following the learning process.

The technology is expected to expedite the deployment of robotic systems for works in unstructured environments.

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Sarcos Robotics advanced systems and AI chief scientist Denis Garagić said: “This is a unique opportunity to leverage a robotic system that is kinematically equivalent to the human body to lay the foundation for teaching robots how to move and accomplish tasks in the real world, the same way humans do.

“This success-based teaching will speed up the learning process of AI-enhanced perception, reasoning and decision-making techniques currently being implemented across Sarcos’ platforms.

“Implementation of such an AI-based system will enable autonomous situational awareness, which can radically reduce the cognitive load on the operator while dramatically increasing precision as it augments human performance.”

AFRL Center for Rapid Innovation senior scientist Dr Alok Das said: “We are excited to collaborate with Sarcos to leverage Sarcos’ unique robotic systems to develop a novel approach to success-based artificial intelligence systems.

“We will be working with end-users throughout the airforce to refine the CYTAR platform for airforce specific applications.”