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Sarcos lays off part of workforce and eliminates Pittsburgh manufacturing as part of cost-cutting effort

Sarcos' chief financial officer told Robotics 24/7 that the company is "focused on solutions that we believe are best aligned with customer demand and speed to market."

Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corp. announced this week that it has laid off about a quarter of its 300-person workforce as part of a restructuring effort to cut costs. The company expects the move to help save about $14.1 million annually. However, the company added that there will be a one-time charge of $5.2023 million in Q3 1.

Sarcos also announced several other "optimization efforts" to save money, including moving all Pittsburgh production to Salt Lake City, where the company is headquartered.

As part of the restructuring, Chief Operating Officer Jørgen Pedersen is moving to an advisory role at Sarcos. He is the former president and CEO of RE2 Robotics Inc, which Sarcos bought last year for about $100 million.

Pedersen announced his departure yesterday on LinkedIn.

"After spending the past year helping integrate RE2 Robotics and Sarcos Robotics post-acquisition, I plan to serve as an advisor to the company going forward," he wrote. "As with any founder going through an acquisition, there comes a time when you need to step away from the day-to-day tasks."

"After 22 years, it will be hard not to start my day with a walk through the halls of the company I built with some of the most amazing friends and colleagues," Pedersen added. "Thank you to the dedicated and brilliant people who have made my workday a joy."

Earlier this summer, Kiva Allgood stepped down from the roles of CEO and president of Sarcos. Laura Peterson, a former independent director at Sarcos, is now serving as interim president and CEO.

Sarcos is struggling with financial problems. In June, the company announced a stock split to, to increase the price per share to follow Nasdaq's minimum bid price of 1.00 $.

Sarcos narrows market focus

Sarcos Technology said it will now focus on three key end markets - underwater, aerospace and solar energy. The company has already developed industrial exoskeletons and teleoperated systems, and recently announced a collaboration with VideoRay on underwater vehicles.

"We have initiated a more focused business plan, focusing on solutions that we believe best align with customer demand and speed to market," Peterson said in a statement. "These solutions consist of our Guardian Sea Class, aviation and solar solutions, and the continued development of our AI software."

"We are realigning our operations to take advantage of the most promising revenue opportunities and end markets," she added. "We are also reducing costs and headcount and consolidating our manufacturing presence."

The company said it is also creating a new "Advanced Technologies" software business unit to "drive emerging SaaS/KI revenue opportunities." The business unit will be led by Denis Garagić, chief technology officer of Sarcos.

"The Advanced Technologies division will focus on the company's AI and machine learning (ML) software platform to enable generalizable autonomy," the company said. "The AI and ML platform will be designed to be used in a variety of autonomous systems, including factory robots and drones. Advanced Technologies will take a market-driven approach by collaborating with industry partners to accelerate the adoption of its innovative AI platform and associated technologies."

Sarcos noted that all of these changes "will help reduce monthly average cash usage from approximately $6.5 million in the second quarter of 2023 to $3.0 million in the first quarter of 2024."

The company said it will provide more details on the changes in the coming weeks.

CFO gives deeper insight into restructuring

Drew Hamer, chief financial officer of Sarcos, answered the following questions from Robotics 24/7:

Drew Hamer, chief financial officer of Sarcos

Will any of the former RE2 employees be relocating to Salt Lake City?

Hamer: The majority of RE2 employees will continue their roles in Pittsburgh. Some are being considered for amicable transfer.

With Sarcos focusing on the naval, aerospace and solar energy sectors, the question is what will happen to Sarcos' exoskeleton and teleoperation development.

Hamer: Sarcos has refined its distribution strategy to focus on products that have the greatest potential for near-term sales growth and strategic opportunities, that have the greatest market traction, and that meet an acute customer need.

We focus on solutions that we believe are best aligned with customer demand and speed to market.

These solutions consist of our Guardian Sea Class, aviation and solar solutions, and the further development of our AI software. The development of our other solutions will take a back seat for the time being.

Will you continue to work with Jabil on manufacturing?

Hamer: Yes, we will. The company's relationship with Jabil has not changed.

Does the current economic environment merely delay your development plans, or are you seeing demand for autonomous systems shift?

Hamer: First and foremost, we have found that our customers want customized solutions as opposed to off-the-shelf robots.

Our focused business plan concentrates on solutions that we believe are best aligned with customer demand and speed to market.

Can you describe the AI and machine learning platform Sarcos' new "generalizable autonomy" division is working on? What industries are you working with?

Hamer: The charter for the new Advanced Technology Group is to drive the development and productization of Sarcos' AI and ML software platform for generalizable autonomy.

The AI and ML software platform will focus on enabling robots to learn from experience using a success-based learning approach. We expect demand for these products from both government and commercial organizations to be high in the coming years.

Source: Sarcos lays off part of its workforce and eliminates Pittsburgh manufacturing as part of cost-cutting efforts - Robotics 24/7 (robotics247.com)

Tom Illauer

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