WASHINGTON – Future lunar researchers can have ready-made smart robots to help them thanks to OffWorld, a company that plans to park industrial machines for destinations throughout the solar system.
The California-based company already has several undisclosed Fortune 500 companies that pay it to deploy robots on Earth for applications like mining. And while technology is at an early stage, OffWorld has said it plans to go much further.
While it is still too early to tell when robots will leave our planet, OffWorld CEO Jim Caravala told Space.com on the International Astronautical Congress that he would be glad if future generations of robots can assist NASA astronauts as they land on the surface of the moon, a mission scheduled for 2024.
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"We build our skills by deploying these go [now] to mines, construction sites, tunnels and other infrastructure scenarios As we build this training, it will give us an unprecedented level of insight … about how hardware works in different environments, "Keravala said.
He paused. , then made a reference to possibly supporting NASA's plans to land humans on the moon. "At some point ̵
OffWor's "Master Plan" ld ] involves the use of intelligent robots that can learn from experience or participate in "machine learning" in the computer engineer language. Robots would do the hard work of preparing settlements for humans, OffWorld said.
The first thing OffWorld plans to do on the moon is to extract water ice for applications ranging from the production of drinking water for humans to the production of rocket fuel.
"They act in swarms by collaborating together, making decisions on their own," Keravala said. This allows them to adapt to the environment; for example, in the earth's mining area, "they can sense where minerals and ores exist … and act accordingly."
Powered by solar electricity, these robots could learn on the move with little human intervention. They would also include a modular structure so that such parts could be used for different types of robots – whether in space or on earth. After all, these robots could even reproduce themselves by building other robots using the local resources available on the Moon, Mars or other destinations .
The team has 26 people, but is growing rapidly. OffWorld is in the process of setting up an office in Luxembourg, a country particularly conducive to the development of space resources, to focus on the extraction of volatile lunar substances such as water.
OffWorld also plans to actively involve space engineers and coders in its development. The company will open a market next year to show standard interfaces and outputs that will work with customers around the world.