Construction equipment

Komatsu selected for lunar construction project

A proposal from Komatsu has been chosen as an eligible target for technology related to autonomous construction on the moon.

The proposal, the development of digital twin technology for lunar construction equipment, was submitted to the project to promote the development of innovative technologies for the autonomous construction of outer space. The project is led by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) with the collaboration of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

The project is part of MLIT’s strategic program to accelerate research, development and use of space technologies (Stardust program).

Under the leadership of the Council of Promoting the Development of Innovative Technologies for Autonomous Construction, an interdepartmental collaborative body, all selected companies and organizations will research and develop their individual technologies, according to Komatsu.

As part of the three-year medium-term management plan, to be completed in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, Komatsu strives to create safe, highly productive, intelligent and clean workplaces of the future by advancing products (automation and autonomy of machines) and processes (optimization of construction operations). Regarding the selected development of Digital Twin technology for lunar construction equipment, Komatsu will use technologies accumulated in products and processes.

In a press release, Komatsu noted the complicated nature of construction on the moon’s surface and suggested that digital twin technology can accurately recreate site conditions and machinery.

To develop this technology, Komatsu will conduct a feasibility study to verify the possibility of developing high-precision digital twin technology, the core technology of lunar construction equipment. Specifically, Komatsu will create and operate a hydraulic excavator in cyberspace and compare its movements with actual equipment on Earth to verify the accuracy of the simulator. Komatsu will also define the surface conditions of the moon as cyberspace and check the movements of the excavator in the simulator to identify issues facing our lunar equipment.

Source: Komatsu Ltd.

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