A startup company that develops general-purpose space robots has been given a rocket boost by Seiko Epson.
The Japanese company and its subsidiary Epson X Investment recently made an additional investment in GITAI Japan, a startup that envisions providing safe and affordable labour in space. Their goal is to develop and sell versatile space robots that will serve as a workforce for tasks both inside and outside space stations, in Earth’s orbit, as well as on the Moon and Mars. They also aim to provide services in space.
With the acceleration of space development, including lunar resource development, Mars exploration, and the commercialisation of the International Space Station (ISS), a rapid increase in various types of work within space is anticipated, such as the construction of new space stations, lunar bases, and Mars bases. This work is potentially dangerous and is currently being performed by astronauts, who must be trained and transported at tremendous expense.
GITAI is developing general-purpose robots that can significantly reduce the risk and burden on astronauts while also dramatically reducing the overall cost of transportation and training associated with space labor. GITAI aims to make space exploration and development both safe and affordable. Since 2021, they have been steadily building a strong track record by developing lunar work robots and extravehicular robots, as well as by successfully completing on-board experiments using demonstration models on the ISS.
Epson says it aims to drive manufacturing innovation by co-creating flexible, high-throughput production systems that reduce environmental impact. GITAI’s space robot technology has potential applications in Epson’s robotics business and has proven to be competitive in the expanding space business market.