Home Bots & Bullets Sarcos Awarded $13.8 Million USD AI Contract by U.S. Air Force

Sarcos Awarded $13.8 Million USD AI Contract by U.S. Air Force

by Marco van der Hoeven

Sarcos Defense, a subsidiary of Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corporation , announced that it has received a $13.8 million USD contract from Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. The award results from an innovative AFWERX AFVentures opportunity for its Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) program.

This contract will support development, integration, and validation of Sarcos’ artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) software framework, the AI Computational Service, for success-based reinforcement learning in the Sarcos Guardian line of robotic systems.

The goal of the Sarcos AI Computational Service is to enable robotic systems, specifically the Sarcos Guardian line of robotic systems and future iterations, to learn from experience using a success-based learning approach allowing robots to understand their environment, exhibit reasonable behavior in unforeseen situations, and quickly acquire new skills from new experiences.

Unlike existing machine learning algorithms that often require numerous examples to achieve high accuracy, the Sarcos AI Computational Service seeks to emulate with robots how people can generalize successfully from just a single example. By leveraging what the robot has previously learned, the framework fills in the gaps of unknown scenarios by generating robust and reliable predictions on how the robot should act in any given situation. The aim is to outperform current AI approaches, such as deep learning algorithms, in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. This will result in improved workflow performance as well as safer interactions between humans and machines, particularly in unstructured environments.

This contract will span a period of four years, during which Sarcos will continue to advance its software technology to benefit the Department of the Air Force. By incorporating the success-based learning capabilities into its robotic systems, the contract seeks to create greater synergy between human workers and AI technology, ultimately enhancing productivity and safety in various job settings.

Throughout the duration of the contract, Sarcos will conduct Military Utility Assessments (MUAs) at various U.S. Air Force locations, including Warner Robins Air Force Base, to test intelligent algorithms implemented on Sarcos robots. The demonstrations will aim to address the operational challenges currently faced by the Air Force and to showcase how the Guardian line of robots combined with Sarcos AI and ML software can benefit the Air Force and DoD in their missions by increasing productivity and safety.

“This contract represents a tremendous opportunity for Sarcos as we continue to focus on and invest heavily in the development of our artificial intelligence and machine learning software technology,” said Laura Peterson, Interim President and CEO, Sarcos. “It will allow us to provide cutting-edge performance enhancements to our Guardian robotics solutions, which will benefit our U.S. Air Force partners and commercial customers alike.”

“Sarcos has been a key partner for the Air Force and U.S. military for decades. As we look to incorporate technology that can help Airmen accomplish their missions and support readiness efforts,” said Tony Ligouri, AFRL program manager for this project, “we expect the Sarcos Guardian line of robotics solutions to be a substantial benefit to USAF operations and believe the integration of the artificial intelligence and machine learning framework into these robots will support the efforts of the DoD.”


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