Sarcos pivots from robotics to AI software program growth

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Sarcos Guardian XT Robot

Sarcos’ Guardian XT was one of many core robotics options throughout the Sarcos product line that’s now being deserted for a brand new software-based product technique. | Picture credit score: Sarcos

Sarcos Expertise and Robotics Company has not too long ago introduced a strategic shift in its enterprise focus, pivoting from robotics to a extra important, near-term alternative offered by its robotic synthetic intelligence (AI) and machine studying (ML) software program platform.

Laura Peterson, President and CEO of Sarcos, emphasised the essential function of the software program developed by the corporate through the years, stating, “Since I assumed the function of CEO in Might, our management crew has carried out an ongoing rigorous, data-driven evaluation and evaluation of our enterprise, market alternatives, merchandise and growth packages.”

Peterson defined, “We consider that our AI software program platform will allow, for almost all of the commercial robots being bought world wide, a dramatic discount in robotic coaching occasions whereas additionally making industrial robots much more agile, which means they will carry out extra duties with higher variability just like how people can carry out all kinds of duties.”

The imaginative and prescient for Sarcos’s AI software program platform commenced in 2017 and progressed to its first CYTAR (Cybernetic Coaching for Autonomous Robots) authorities proposal in 2019. Chief Expertise Officer Dr. Denis Garagić joined the corporate in 2020, initiating important design and growth work. The corporate plans to interact current clients to find out the following steps in every relationship. Nearly all of Sarcos’ authorities contracts are associated to AI software program growth and are key to the go-forward technique. 

In 2022, Sarcos acquired RE2 Robotics, a Pittsburgh-based developer of autonomous and teleoperated cellular robotic programs, for $100 million. The corporate appeared to double down on this acquisition earlier this 12 months when it introduced numerous adjustments to the corporate that aimed to develop income and leverage strategic alternatives that present the best market traction and meet buyer demand. These adjustments included specializing in robotic programs for subsea, aviation, and the photo voltaic finish market. 

Sarcos has secured AI software program growth contracts with the U.S. Air Power, offering funding for the platform’s growth and alternatives for real-world testing. Peterson anticipates bringing a model of the AI software program platform, suitable with most industrial robots, to market within the first half of 2024, with further options deliberate for launch by the tip of subsequent 12 months.

sarcos exoskeleton lineup.

Sarcos was one of many innovators within the robotic exoskeleton market as this historic lineup of merchandise reveals the evolution from technology to technology. The corporate has a robust historical past of leveraging authorities contracts to fund its growth. | Credit score: The Robotic Report

To align with this strategic shift, Sarcos has determined to droop commercialization efforts on its subsea, aviation, and photo voltaic robotics {hardware} packages. Peterson famous, “With the necessity to guarantee we’ve enough monetary sources to pursue our software program alternative, we’ve made the troublesome resolution to droop for the foreseeable future commercialization efforts on our subsea, aviation and photo voltaic robotics {hardware} packages. We’ll, nonetheless, proceed to handle these markets by our AI/ML software program platform.”

The corporate additionally instructed The Robotic Report that by suspending the commercialization efforts on the subsea, aviation, and photo voltaic robotics {hardware} packages for the foreseeable future, they intend to focus on these markets by the AI/ML software program platform. Moreover, Sarcos’ robotic programs can be used for additional growth and testing of its AI/ML software program. The corporate believes that this software program platform will allow a dramatic discount in robotic coaching occasions whereas additionally making industrial robots much more agile.

The corporate believes this strategic resolution will permit Sarcos to achieve a broader market extra rapidly by separating its AI and ML software program from its robotic programs. Peterson believes that “By de-coupling our AI and ML software program from our personal robotic programs, we consider we will attain a much wider market extra rapidly.”

Shedding 150 workers

The product portfolio shift necessitates a discount in Sarcos’s workforce by roughly 150 workers. Peterson acknowledged the problem of such choices, stating, “Whereas it’s all the time a troublesome resolution to make staffing cuts, particularly one this important, it can be crucial that Sarcos is resourced appropriately and that we’re good stewards of our capital.”

It has been a tumultuous 12 months for Sarcos as this announcement follows a layoff of 75 people from the corporate in July 2023 and the hiring of Peterson in Might 2023 to interchange prior CEO Kiva Allgood. Third quarter 2023 web loss was $29.0 million or $1.13 per share, in comparison with a web lack of $22.5 million or $0.89 per share within the third quarter of the prior 12 months. Income is down, as whole income within the third quarter of 2023 was $1.8 million, in comparison with $4.7 million within the third quarter of 2022. In response to the newest monetary report, revenues decreased on a year-over-year foundation as a result of fewer product growth contracts being labored throughout the present 12 months, offset barely by a rise in product income.

In August, the corporate reported $1.3M in income throughout Q2 2023 towards a lack of $28.7M. The corporate has struggled to realize profitability since going public through SPAC in September 2021. Additionally in August, Sarcos additionally introduced it signed an settlement with Blattner Firm to develop its autonomous robotics photo voltaic development system additional. The corporate is abandoning this effort as a part of the restructuring.

RE2 underwater robot.

RE2 developed a semi-autonomous and teleoperated underwater ROV as a part of its product portfolio. | Credit score: RE2

Closing Pittsburgh workplace

To additional align with the strategic pivot, Sarcos plans to shut its Pittsburgh workplace (the unique RE2 headquarters) and consolidate operations in Salt Lake Metropolis. Peterson emphasised, “We consider the prioritization of our AI software program platform meets our beforehand introduced objective of pursuing important near-term income tied to acute buyer wants, reduces our capital necessities and associated dangers consistent with out there sources, and can result in long-term stockholder worth creation.”

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