GITAI USA Inc. (GITAI), the world’s leading space robotics company, developed “S10”, a 10 meter autonomous robotic arm for commercial space stations, which are being developed by several companies in the US. The GITAI S10 has successfully completed various tests corresponding to level 3 of NASA’s Technology Readiness Level (TRL).
GITAI’s first 10m autonomous robotic arm, “S10”, is characterized by its flexibility to meet various customer needs and short lead time. This is realized by GITAI’s unique development strategy, where all the core technology required to develop a space robot including mechatronics, electronics, and software are developed in-house, and all the engineers work side by side in the Agile development process. In fact, the GITAI S10 has successfully completed the following ground demonstration tests corresponding to TRL 3 (Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof-of concept) in less than 6 months from start of project.
- Testing the autonomous mobility of the S10 using grapple end-effectors* and grapple fixtures. This test assumed that the S10 would move outside the space station to perform inspections, repairs, station construction, etc.
- Testing capturing large objects using grapple end-effectors and grapple fixtures. This test assumed that the S10 would capture a spacecraft or handle large payloads.
*Grapple end effector / grapple fixture: GITAI’s proprietary interface that enables the end of the robotic arm to be interchangeable. Not only does it improve task performance by connecting to various tools to perform multiple tasks, but it also enables autonomous movement of the arm itself when equipped at both ends of the arm.
By March 2023, the GITAI S10 is scheduled to conduct a similar demonstration test in an underwater experimental facility which simulates micro-gravity, in order to achieve TRL 6 (System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment). GITAI will respond to the diversifying demand for work in space by adding this 10m robotic arm, GITAI S10, to its product lineup in addition to the already announced 2m robotic arm, GITAI S2.