Komatsu selected for development of innovative technologies for outer space construction

Published 11/3, 2022 at 09:33

Komatsu has applied for the request for proposal concerning the ‘Project for Promoting the Development of Innovative Technologies for Outer Space Autonomous Construction’ (lead managed by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in collaboration with Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

The project was decided on by MLIT in July this year as part of the strategic programme, ‘Accelerating Research, Development and Utilisation of Space Technology’ (‘Stardust’). Komatsu’s proposal for the development of digital twin technology for lunar construction equipment has been selected as an eligible target of technology related to autonomous construction.

Under the leadership of the Council of Promoting the Development of Innovative Technologies for Autonomous Construction, an inter ministry collaboration body, all selected companies and organisations will diligently conduct research and development of their individual technologies. In this way, in the near future Komatsu will contribute to Japan’s achievement of advanced construction and research and development of outer space construction activities, such as on the moon.

In the ongoing three year, mid-term management plan, to be completed in the fiscal year ending 31 March, 2022, Komatsu is working to achieve safe, highly productive, smart, and clean workplaces of the future by advancing products (automation and autonomy of machines) and processes (optimisation of construction operations). Concerning the selected ‘Development of Digital Twin Technology for Lunar Construction Equipment’, Komatsu will utilise accumulated technologies in both products and processes.

Due to its 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. Specifically, Komatsu will create and operate a hydraulic excavator in cyberspace and compare its movements with actual equipment on Earth to verify the simulator's precision. Komatsu will also set the surface conditions of the moon as cyberspace and check the movements of the excavator in the simulator in order to identify the issues facing lunar equipment.

The achievement of safe, highly productive, smart and clean workplaces of the future by advancing products (automation and autonomy of machines) and processes (optimisation of construction operations) during the next 100 years, will see Komatsu continue to create value through manufacturing and technology innovation to empower a sustainable future where businesses, people, and planet thrive together.

Join our Newsletter