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Japan Startup to Build Space Robot Workforce

Gitai wants to cut operational costs via robot arms and rovers!

The Japanese startup Gitai, fresh off raising a new round of funding, is expanding in the US as it seeks to create a robot workforce that will reduce the costs and risks of operating in space.

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Huge space companies such as SpaceX and BlueOrigin are solving the space transportation problem, and now the bottleneck has changed from transportation costs to operational costs.”

Tokyo-based Gitai just closed a ¥4 billion ($30 million) funding round to accelerate development of the remotely-controlled robots.

The company will use the money to staff up in the US, where it’s expanding to recruit engineers and prepare its robots for work in space, Company said.

The seven-year-old startup’s robotic arms and rovers can remotely perform routine construction work ranging from solar panel installation to welding, as well as inspect equipment and conduct maintenance and assembly tasks. But to succeed in space, they would need to also withstand and mitigate radiation exposure and work as efficiently as possible.

Space startups around the world are flocking to the US, drawn by NASA contracts now pouring into private companies.

NASA hopes that the money will form the building blocks of what will one day become a lunar economy — a future where spacecraft carries people and scientific equipment to the lunar surface, and mine the moon for rare metals and data.

Source: Bloomberg/Gitai
Image: Gitai