Delta Air Lines and the $6,000,000 Man

By Barry Render

Delta Air Lines is partnering with Sarcos Robotics to explore new employee technology fit for a superhero—a mobile and dexterous exoskeleton designed to boost employees’ physical capabilities and bolster their safety, reports New Equipment Digest (Jan. 15, 2020). Sarcos, the world’s leader in exoskeleton development, has developed a battery-powered, full-body exoskeleton designed to increase human performance and endurance while helping to prevent injury.

This robotic suit, designed for employees to wear, does the heavy lifting. By bearing the weight of the suit and the payload, the exoskeleton may enable an employee to lift up to 200 pounds repeatedly for 8 hours at a time without strain or fatigue. The Sancos model is designed for use in industries where lifting and manipulation of heavy materials or awkward objects are required and aren’t easily handled by standard lift equipment.

Potential uses at Delta could include handling freight at Delta Cargo warehouses, moving maintenance components at Delta TechOps or lifting heavy machinery and parts for ground support equipment. Exploring how advanced tools and tech can better support employees is one way Delta aims to improve workplace safety.

In addition to enabling superhuman strength for extended periods, the robotic suit may also level the playing field in terms of physical capacity. Roles that have historically been limited to those who meet specific strength requirements could potentially be performed by a more diverse talent pool, thanks to wearable robotics.

 

This post provided courtesy of Jay and Barry’s OM Blog at www.heizerrenderom.wordpress.com. Professors Jay Heizer and Barry Render are authors of Operations Management , the world’s top selling textbook in its field, published by Pearson.

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