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07 March 2024

GITAI Inchworm Robotic Erects a 5 Meter Communication Tower Ensuring Human Safety for Future Projects

By Bobby Carlton

In a recent demonstration, the GITAI’s Inchworm robot exhibited remarkable versatility, undertaking a range of tasks essential for construction autonomously and is a significant leap forward in space exploration and development.

GITAI, a pioneering force in space robotics, has achieved a remarkable milestone in lunar infrastructure construction technology when they recently showcased their robotics technology by erecting a 5-meter-high communication tower in an environment replicating the lunar surface using their Inchworm robot. This groundbreaking project, conducted in collaboration with KDDI Corporation, Japan’s prominent telecommunications operator, represents a significant leap forward in space exploration and development.

If you’re not familiar with GITAI, the company is dedicated to revolutionizing space operations by reducing labor costs by 100 times, thereby enabling safe and affordable work in space. The company operates in two key areas: on-orbit services and lunar infrastructure construction.

KDDI stands as a leading telecommunications company in Japan, serving over 65 million customers. With a focus on reliability and innovation, KDDI provides cellular services in Japan, Myanmar, and Mongolia, alongside IoT integration and global data center solutions for businesses. Committed to sustainability and technological advancement, KDDI’s diverse offerings encompass space, mobility, healthcare, and education, contributing to a truly connected society.

The demonstration, conducted solely using GITAI’s innovative products, featured the deployment of Lunar Rover and Inchworm robots equipped with specialized “grapple end-effectors.” These robotic systems exhibited remarkable versatility, undertaking a range of tasks essential for construction autonomously.

Key highlights from the demonstration include:

  • Construction of a 5-meter communication tower on a lunar surface simulation by GITAI’s Lunar Rover and 3 x Inchworm Robots.
  • Connection of the communication antenna to the apex of the tower, along with the attachment of power cables, ensuring operational readiness.
  • Disassembly of the tower and antenna by the same robotic combination, simulating maintenance operations vital for sustainable lunar city development.

In this collaborative approach, KDDI provided specifications and insights for their mobile phone base station, facilitating the optimization of communication antenna design for robotic construction.

The GITAI Inchworm Robot is an innovative robotic system designed to facilitate tasks in space exploration and infrastructure development. Named after its resemblance to the motion of an inchworm, this robotic platform offers unique capabilities tailored for extraterrestrial environments, particularly lunar exploration and construction projects.

Key features of the GITAI Inchworm Robot include:

  1. Versatile Mobility: The Inchworm Robot is equipped with flexible joints and gripping mechanisms, enabling it to maneuver across various terrain types, including lunar surfaces. Its modular design allows for adaptability to different tasks and environments, making it a versatile tool for space missions.
  2. Precise Manipulation: With advanced control systems and precision engineering, the Inchworm Robot can perform delicate manipulation tasks with accuracy and reliability. Whether it’s assembling structures or handling equipment, the robot’s dexterity ensures efficient operations in space.
  3. Scalability: GITAI has designed the Inchworm Robot to be scalable, allowing for the deployment of multiple units to collaborate on complex tasks. This scalability enhances productivity and enables the robot to tackle a wide range of mission objectives, from construction to maintenance and repair activities.
  4. Earth Compatibility: While primarily intended for space applications, GITAI has engineered the Inchworm Robot to operate effectively in terrestrial environments as well. This capability facilitates testing and development on Earth, enabling thorough evaluation before deployment in space.
  5. Integration with Other GITAI Products: The Inchworm Robot is designed to work seamlessly with other GITAI robotic systems, such as the Lunar Rover, to form cohesive robotic teams for mission execution. This integration enhances the overall efficiency and effectiveness of space exploration and infrastructure development efforts.

One of the standout features of their inchworm robot is its grapple end-effectors, which are located on both ends of the arm. This allows the robot to perform a variety of general-purpose tasks, such as docking spacecraft, manipulating payload, and inspect & repair, with high precision.

Overall, the GITAI Inchworm Robot represents a cutting-edge solution for advancing space exploration and lunar development initiatives. With its mobility, manipulation capabilities, scalability, and compatibility with other GITAI products, the Inchworm Robot is poised to play a vital role in shaping the future of space exploration and colonization.

inchworm robot

GITAI’s product strategy emphasizes scalability and versatility, with Inchworm and Rover robots serving as fundamental units capable of a wide range of tasks. Notably, GITAI’s robots are engineered to operate in terrestrial conditions, enabling rigorous testing and evaluation before their deployment in space. This approach has garnered attention, with GITAI’s concept selected for DARPA’s 10-Year Lunar Architecture (LunA-10) capability study in December 2023.

The successful demonstration underscores the vast potential of GITAI’s robotics technology in facilitating scalable lunar urban development. Beyond telecommunication towers, GITAI’s robots exhibit capabilities applicable to various lunar infrastructure projects, including in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) plants, power towers, launch pads, and more.

In pursuit of enhancing technology readiness, GITAI is actively engaged in an external in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing (ISAM) tech-demo onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Through this endeavor, GITAI aims to achieve Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7, showcasing the practical application of its robotics technology in space missions.

It’s this approach that makes companies like FS Studio stand out as an import part of space exploration, such as our current work with Blue Origin on their BE-7 rocket, and what it means for the limitless future in space exploration.