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Komatsu trials construction equipment for use in space


Komatsu has applied to become a part of Japan’s project for Promoting the Development of Innovative Technologies for Outer Space Autonomous Construction.

The project is led by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to accelerate the research and development of space technologies.

“Komatsu’s proposal of the Development of Digital Twin Technology for Lunar Construction Equipment has been selected as an eligible target of Technology related to Autonomous Construction,” a company press release stated.

Having been selected, Komatsu will privately conduct its own research and development on technologies applicable in space, with the aim to contribute to Japan’s construction activities in places like the moon.

“Because it’s complicated to approach actual objects on the moon’s surface, Komatsu believes that digital twin technology is essential, precisely recreating site conditions and machines.

“To develop this technology, Komatsu will conduct a feasibility study to verify the possibility of developing high precision digital twin technology, the basic technology of lunar construction equipment.”

Komatsu aims to digitally recreate and operate a hydraulic excavator and compare it to the functionality of real-world equipment on Earth, to understand and compare the machine’s ability to operate in space.

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