DELTA NEWS ON THE GO. Subscribe and follow.

What happens when you give a Delta employee a body suit fit for a super hero? The world may not have to wait long to find out.

Delta is an initial member in an Exoskeleton Technical Advisory Group (X-TAG) that will think about the best ways to bring full-body, powered industrial exoskeleton systems to the workforce. Led by Sarcos Robotics, other X-TAG members include Bechtel, BMW, Caterpillar, GE, Schlumberger and additional leading companies representing aviation, construction, heavy machinery and utilities.  

"There is no greater responsibility we have than to keep our people and our customers safe," said Gil West, Delta's Chief Operating Officer. "This X-TAG is an innovative opportunity to think about how fitting our employees with wearable robotics can build on our strong personal safety culture and further protect our people from injury by giving them an additional layer of strength and protection."

Delta has a strong track record of finding new ways to improve customer and employee experiences through technology. From the Nomad and SkyPro handheld devices for agents and flight attendants, to real-time RFID bag scanning and the biometric boarding pass, Delta is leading the industry with innovative solutions while maintaining its position as the most reliable airline in the world.

Sarcos is a global leader in producing robots that combine human intelligence and dexterity with the strength, endurance and precision of machines to improve efficiency and reduce occupational injuries for complex or non-repetitive tasks. The company' CEO announced the partnership during a WearRAcon talk where he shared the Sarcos' vision of using wearable robotics to safely support and protect the current workforce, not replace it.

"The opportunity to deploy powered, full-body industrial exoskeletons that reduce injury and dramatically enhance human strength, endurance and precision is more proximate than most people realize" said Ben Wolff, chairman and CEO of Sarcos Robotics. "Top innovators, thought leaders and industry experts across key industries have joined with us to create the safest, most productive and cost-effective workforce in the world and provide us with industry and safety requirements guidance to ensure we meet industry needs in advance of commercial deployment."

Sarcos exoskeleton systems are energetically autonomous and highly dexterous. Intuitive to operate and easy to put on and take off, the exoskeleton operator bears none of the weight of the robot or the payload carried by the robot. 

While Delta's people-focused culture has resulted in the airline being certified as a Great Place To Work in addition to being named again as one of Fortune's Best Companies to Work For in 2018, participating in this X-TAG is the latest example of Delta's commitment to partnering with other industries to explore innovative ways of improving customer and employee experiences. The airline recently announced it is part of the Seamless Air Alliance to empower customers with seamless in-cabin connectivity experience and is leading the industry on a number of customer solutions like working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection on optional facial recognition boarding tests, biometric-based self-service bag drop, automatic check-in via the Fly Delta mobile app. Delta also was recently named among Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies for 2018.