GITAI demonstrates robotically constructed lunar communications tower

March 6, 2024
The company, alongside KDDI, aims to establish communications infrastructure on the moon before the end of the decade.

TORRANCE, Calif., - GITAI USA Inc., a space robotics startup in Torrance, Calif., announced it successfully demonstrated its robotics technology for constructing a 5-meter-high communications tower in an environment simulating the lunar surface. The project was spearheaded by GITAI in collaboration with its customer, KDDI Corporation, a Japanese telecommunications operator.
The demonstration was conducted only using GITAI's products, including a Lunar Rover and three Inchworm robots equipped with "grapple end-effectors" on both ends of the arm, enabling a wide range of tasks necessary for construction.

In this technological demonstration, GITAI accomplished the following three tasks for the lunar communication tower autonomously:

  • On a desert simulating the lunar surface, GITAI's Lunar Rover and 3 x Inchworm Robots constructed a 5-meter communication tower.
  • The same combination of the robots connected the communication antenna* to the apex of the tower. Also, connected power cables, and the energization was confirmed.
  • The same combination of the robots proceeded to detach the antenna and disassemble the tower. This activity was designed to simulate maintenance operations essential for sustainable lunar city development.

In this collaboration, KDDI provided the specifications and insights for their mobile phone base station on the Earth, and GITAI developed the communication antenna optimized for robotic construction.

To achieve the scalability of the robotics task capability, GITAI identified the general-purpose Inchworm Robot and Rover Robot as a minimum unit, and the combination can realize the scalability. GITAI's robots can operate in a 1G environment, allowing for extensive testing and evaluation on Earth before deploying their robots in space. This concept was selected for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) 10-Year Lunar Architecture (LunA-10) capability study in December 2023.

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