GITAI of Japan secures $29 million funding for space robotics venture.

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Tampa, Fla. — Japanese space robotics startup GITAI announced May 24 that it has raised 4 billion yen ($29 million) to accelerate its technology development and plans to enter the US. Tokyo-based early-stage investor Global Brain led the funding round, which is an extension of the Series B round that raised about $17 million in 2021. Sho Nakanose, founder and CEO of GITAI, said the funding will support the company’s lunar rover and lunar rover development efforts. An inchworm robot arm that is meter long. GITAI announced on March 24 that the spacecraft has passed various tests equivalent to Level 4 of NASA’s Technical Readiness Level (TRL). In a simulated lunar environment near the western edge of California’s Mojave Desert, the venture said it used two probes and two inchworms. In March, to emulate the work required to build a base on the Moon and explore its surface. Demonstrations included digging, installing solar panels and antennas, welding, towing an inflatable module, and changing one of his rover tires. GITAI said more than half of the components used in these demonstrations have already passed vibration, radiation and other environmental tests in a simulated space environment. Nakanose told Space News that the venture’s inchworm robotic arm has reached TRL 5. Definition of NASA’s Technology Readiness Level (TRL). Credit: NASA He said most of the Inchworm’s components are similar to his GITAI’s 1.5-meter-long S2 robotic arm system, and the venture will use this in an upcoming demonstration outside the International Space Station TRL I want to upgrade from 6 to TRL 7. If S2 passes NASA’s final safety review in June, GITAI plans to hand over S2 to NASA for transport to the ISS on the Cygnus cargo mission in December. According to Nakanose, the GITAI lunar rover will reach TRL6 by the end of 2024 after undergoing various ground tests. He said the venture is in talks with several U.S. launch companies for a lunar demonstration mission in 2026. In doing so, the company’s rover will attempt to assemble a communications antenna and solar panels so that it can reach TRL 7 and above under potentially viable conditions. commercial mission. US Growth Strategy GITAI plans to use a portion of Series B proceeds to expand into a larger engineering and flight model manufacturing facility in Los Angeles. The venture currently employs about 20 people near Torrance, California, and the seven-year-old company opened its U.S. headquarters in June 2022. GITAI employs about 20 people in Japan as well. Nakanose said the venture will add 30 more employees in the U.S. this year, followed by another 50 by the end of 2024. The overseas expansion plan comes after GITAI announced in December that it had won its first undisclosed US order. – based company. Other customers include the Japanese government and multinational Toyota based in Tokyo.Related

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