Thursday, 18 March 2021 13:19

Robots in Spaaaaace - Epson invests in space robot development startup GITAI

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General-purpose robot developed by GITAI General-purpose robot developed by GITAI

Epson and its subsidiary Epson X Investment Corporation "will subscribe in the third-party allocation of sales for GITAI Inc., a startup company developing general-purpose space robots, and invest in the company through their EP-GB Investment Limited Partnership."

GITAI is a startup company that "aims to develop general-purpose robots for space stations, the surface of the Moon and Mars, as well as offer Raas (Robots as a Service)."

We're told that with "space development increasing including resource development on the surface of the Moon, additional Mars exploration missions, and the commercialisation of ISS, there will also be increased requirements for labour in space, including the construction of new space stations and bases on the Moon and Mars, as well as the removal of debris.

"However, even general labour in space has the potential to be dangerous and expensive due to the costs of training and transportation. In response to this, GITAI aims to lessen the risk and burden on astronauts, and dramatically decrease the overall cost of transportation and training when it comes to space labour through the development of general-purpose robots that can make space development both safe and affordable."

A technical demonstration of the capability of GITAI robots to do general labour is scheduled to take place on the ISS (the International Space Station) in Northern Hemisphere summer of 2021, which is naturally autumn for us in the south.

Epson advises it "will investigate the applicability of a variety of GITAI’s core technologies including to robotic solutions, dispatch engineers to GITAI, and will actively promote open innovation through personnel exchanges" and that "going forward, Epson will continue developing synergistic relationships through a variety of partnerships centred around its unique technologies, products, and services in order to contribute to a sustainable society."

Epson reminds us its Epson X Investment Corporation is "a Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) firm wholly owned by information equipment and precision instrument manufacturer Seiko Epson Corporation. It established the EP-GB Investment Limited Partnership with independent venture capital firm Global Brain Corporation, an independent venture capital firm specialising in CVC management, and participates in investment activities."

Meanwhile, GITAI is "developing general-purpose robots that make labour safe and affordable in the below space territories", which includes work inside and outside space stations, docking, lifespan-increasing efforts, repair work, and maintenance work for orbital services (increasing the lifespan of satellites, removing debris, and exploration and base development on the moon.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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