Komatsu selected for development of outer space autonomous construction

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Komatsu’s proposal of the development of digital twin technology for lunar construction equipment has been selected as part of Japan’s Strategic Programme for Accelerating Research, Development and Utilisation of Space Technology (Stardust Programme).

Because it’s complicated to approach 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 our lunar equipment.

In this way, 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, Komatsu is working to achieve safe, highly productive, smart, and clean workplaces of the future by advancing automation and autonomy of machines and the 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.

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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