A Japanese contractor Kajima is planning to partner with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) to create automated construction machinery that will be used outside the Earth.
The company states on its website that the automated construction could be used off world to prepare landing sites, build launchpads, or carry dirt. The machines would be operated by humans via computers from a remote location. According to Kajima, networked bulldozers carried out “simple and repetitive” construction operations with “high precision”.
Kajima plans to develop its A4CSEL software to enable communication between machines, which can compensate for the delay in signals sent from the Earth. It would allow machines to avoid each other while working. The software would also be beneficial for rovers working on Mars or the Moon.
JAXA and Kajima are working together to develop machinery for the Space Exploration Innovation Hub project. An experiment will be held in doors in April of 2017. Kajima and JAXA aim to have fully functional machinery and developed software for use in the next 15 to 25 years.