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Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility Signs CRADA to Develop Robotic Technologies

Dept. of Defense

Workers at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility lower the sail of the former SSN-688 class submarine *USS* with a crane. (Photo credit: U.S. Navy/Gary Thomas Sutto/Flickr)

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration involving a Navy shipyard, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) and Sarcos Robotics announced on March 11 that they will jointly develop robotic technologies, including full-body powered exoskeletons, for use in naval shipyards.

Under the terms of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), the two entities will collaborate on technology development to assist shipyard workers in unstructured, ergonomically challenging work environments, such as confined spaces or when power tools or heavy lifting are required.

The collaboration was organized through the PSNS & IMF Technology Transfer Program, which helps link federal research and development with academic institutions and businesses in the private sector. A CRADA provides the formal mechanism between the federal laboratory and the partner collaborator.

PSNS & IMF received the designation as a technology transfer laboratory in June 2017 from the Office of Naval Research. The laboratory status enables the shipyard to enter into innovative partnership agreements to accelerate the access to critical technologies.

“This partnership provides an exciting opportunity for the shipyard to develop innovative solutions to improve our work while providing a safer, more ergonomic work environment for our employees,” said Capt. Howard Markle, commander of PSNS & IMF.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Sarcos Robotics has developed advanced robotic technologies that may have direct application for the maintenance, modernization, and retirement of ships and submarines for more than 35 years.

“Sarcos’ mission is to deploy robots that augment human workers in a way that reduces the risk of injury and death on the job, while increasing productivity and efficiency,” said Ben Wolff, chairman and CEO of Sarcos Robotics. “We look forward to collaborating with PSNS & IMF to ensure our robotic systems address the specific needs of the Navy and its workforce.”

PSNS & IMF employs more than 14,000 sailors and civilian personnel who accomplish the command's mission to maintain, modernize, and retire the U.S. Navy's fleet.

To view the original press release, visit https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Media/News/SavedNewsModule/Article/1781637/shipyard-and-sarcos-robotics-announce-collaborative-partnership/.

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