June 2, 2010
Japanese Robots to Build and Inhabit Moon Base by 2020by iona
World-renowned for their groundbreaking technological advances, the Japanese are at it again – this time, with plans for a lunar moon base to be built and manned by humanoid robots, by 2020. The $2.2 billion project by JAXA, the Japanese space agency, is being officially backed by the Japanese Prime Minister’s office. The first humanoid bots are due to land on the moon in 2015, will weigh 660-pounds (300kg) and be controlled by engineers from the Earth, but they will also be equipped with the intelligence to multi-task, self-repair and function with a high degree of autonomy. The robots will have human-like arms for collecting rock samples that will be sent to Earth. They will move on rolling treads and their battery of tools will include solar panels, seismographs and high-definition cameras.
The robots’ role will be to survey the moon’s surface in preparation for the construction of a lunar base near the moon’s South Pole. This base will be built, manned and inhabited by the humanoid bots themselves, in preparation for future human moon dwellers.