GITAI, JAXA to perform world’s first private-sector space robotics demonstration

The space robotics startup GITAI cooperated with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to perform the world’s first technology demonstration of its robots in space by a private-sector company. The new business concept for the robotization of work in space as a project of the JAXA Space Innovation through Partnership and Co-creation (J-SPARC) initiative aims to automate the processing of specific tasks on the International Space Station (ISS).

The organizations will also explore new services based on space robotics that can be provided for the International Space Station (ISS) and other future missions. For this, GITAI built a mock-up of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and has been implementing tests there to develop and verify its robots.

Based on technical data collected from this demonstration, the space robotics startup will seek after how its technologies can be utilized in new services for human outpost orbiting the Moon (Gateway), Artemis program, and other space missions as well as for telemedicine, disaster rescue, and other missions on the ground.

At the moment, a private company is testing the functions of remote and unmanned robot control in a ground model of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo”. In fiscal 2021, robotics arms will be used in the BISHOP airlock compartment of the International Space Station to demonstrate its ability to perform various tasks, including operating switches, plugging and unplugging cables, and assembling panels.

Through the business concept co-creation project, GITAI and JAXA will pursue new services that space robotics can offer and develop a new business concept together in order to help increase safety and reduce costs of space activities and meet growing task demands in space.

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