Gitai, a Tokyo-based startup, has recently closed a 4 billion yen funding round to accelerate the development of its remotely-controlled robots for space exploration. With the intention of significantly reducing operational costs, CEO Sho Nakanose envisions a future where space robots can efficiently handle routine tasks on the moon or Mars.
The company aims to address the challenges and risks associated with human labor in space by developing advanced robotics technology. Gitai’s robot arms and rovers are expected to provide safe and cost-effective labor, potentially reducing operational costs by 100 times.
Gitai’s CEO, Sho Nakanose, recognizes the high costs and impracticality of human assembly and inspection tasks in space. He believes that utilizing robots can offer a more efficient and cost-effective solution.
The funding will primarily be allocated towards enhancing the Technological Readiness Level (TRL) of Gitai’s Lunar Robotic Rover and Lunar Inchworm Type Robotic Arm, as well as expanding their engineering and flight model manufacturing facilities in the United States.
“The dynamics of the space industry have been undergoing rapid transformation,” stated Nakanose during an interview on Bloomberg TV. He further explained that prominent space companies like SpaceX and BlueOrigin have been addressing the challenges of space transportation, and now the focus has shifted from transportation costs to operational costs.
Participating in this funding round were EP-GB LP (SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION/Epson X Investment Corporation/Global Brain Corporation), JGC MIRAI Innovation Fund LP (JGC JAPAN CORPORATION / JGC HOLDINGS CORPORATION / Global Brain Corporation), and Global Brain CVC Funds, among other notable companies and funds. Their involvement highlights the widespread industry acknowledgment and backing for Gitai’s mission to advance space robotics technology.
Gitai’s mission includes providing vital manpower for moon exploration and developing essential infrastructure such as solar panels, communication antennas, fuel generators, and housing modules for future lunar missions. To support their expansion plans and prepare their robots for space missions, Gitai will use the newly acquired funding to recruit engineers and establish a stronger presence in the United States. Nakanose expressed his excitement about expanding their operations in the US and highlighted the company’s commitment to reducing labor costs by 100 times, complementing the efforts of companies like SpaceX and BlueOrigin in reducing transportation costs to space.
Gitai, a startup founded in 2016, has been at the forefront of developing robots specifically designed for space exploration. With a focus on efficiency and effectiveness, Gitai’s robots aim to overcome challenges such as radiation exposure, ensuring their functionality in demanding space environments. Their robotic arms and rovers are built to handle various tasks, including construction, equipment inspection, and maintenance, all performed remotely.
By leveraging modular design principles and prioritizing software-centric approaches, Gitai is committed to advancing the field of space exploration. Their robots possess the capability to autonomously repair satellites and conduct experiments, reducing the reliance on human intervention. Gitai’s strategic emphasis on modularity and software-driven innovation positions them as contributors to the global pursuit of space exploration.