GITAI autonomous space robot celebrates a successful ISS demonstration

Shane McGlaun - Oct 29, 2021, 6:28am CDT
GITAI autonomous space robot celebrates a successful ISS demonstration

GITAI Japan Inc. is a company that develops general-purpose robots for use in space. Recently, the company conducted a demonstration of its GITAI autonomous space robot aboard the ISS. During the demonstration, the robot executed various tasks inside the space station Nanoracks Bishop Airlock.

The demonstration was performed between October 13 and 16th, and the space robot dubbed “S1” was able to complete all of the activities it had planned successfully. GITAI says Nanoracks provided the launch opportunity for S1, on-orbit operations, and the data downlink. NASA handled the launching of the GITAI S1 to the ISS, and it was installed by NASA astronauts inside the Bishop airlock.

For the experiment, once the robot was installed in the airlock, it executed two tasks, including assembling structures and panels for In-Space Assembly, and was able to operate switches and cables for Intra-Vehicular Activity. In addition to operating autonomously, activities like the switching and cable operations can also be controlled remotely via the Nanoracks mission control center in Houston.

The general-purpose autonomous space robot demonstration was used to gather experience to allow the development of extra-vehicular robotics. The goal of that type of robotics is to enable the execution of docking, repair, and maintenance tasks during servicing in orbit. In addition, the demonstration could also open the door for robots for conducting activities during lunar exploration and lunar base construction.

GITAI is a name most had never heard of. It is a startup focusing on space robotics to provide safe and inexpensive solutions for work in space. The company plans by 2040 to be an equal partner with the world’s leading space launch companies. Its goal is to provide inexpensive and safe labor that could be used to build bases on the moon.

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