Japan plans to send telepresence robots to space.
The technology, which is to be deployed in 2020, is used to control robots at a distance.
By 2020, telepresence robots must perform activities on the ISS.
A partnership between Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and startup GITAI aims to bring telepresence robots to the International Space Station (ISS).
The technology – which is well known for being used in surgeries – presupposes the remote control of the robots by someone qualified for the function to be developed.
By 2020, these types of robots are already present in space, helping astronauts perform complex activities and even helping them travel back to Earth.
“We want to address the cost and safety issues involved in space travel through the use of robotic technology,” said Sho Nakanose, CEO and co-founder of GITAI, to IEEE Spectrum.
“We’re working with telepresence robots because they make travels more practical and faster than with automatic robots.”
According to the company, using robotic telepresence will cut the costs of the Japanese agency to only one-tenth of the current value of sending humans to the ISS.
But deploying the technology will not be easy.
“When we work on the surface of the Moon, for example, there is a delay time of 1.2 seconds.
Soon, it will be difficult to use telepresence, and we think there will be a need to work with semi-autonomous or semi-remote robots,”Nakanose said.
A video, published by GITAI, shows robots performing tasks usually done by astronauts at ISS, such as opening toolboxes and triggering devices.
All of the company’s robots will go into space accompanied by a 360-degree camera, capturing a high-quality video that will be transmitted to Earth with a delay of only 60 milliseconds.
Times a second. In the time it takes you to read the bullet points in this box, literally quadrillions of signals will travel inside your head.