GITAI is a robotics startup with offices in Japan and the United States that's developing tech to put humanoid telepresence robots in space to take over for astronauts. IEEE: This week, GITAI is announcing a joint research agreement with JAXA (the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) to see what it takes for robots to be useful in orbit, with the goal of substantially reducing the amount of money spent sending food and air up to those demanding humans on the International Space Station. It's also worth noting that GITAI has some new hires, including folks from the famous (and somewhat mysterious) Japanese bipedal robot company SCHAFT. [...] GITAI says that their robots will "reduce the cost of space work to 10 percent" of the cost of using a real astronaut, by instead relying on earthbound humans for immersive teleoperation. As you might expect, the trouble with immersive teleoperation between Earth and orbit is getting data back and forth over a restrictive network. Part of GITAI's secret sauce involves compressing "data of 360-degree camera with resolution of 2.7K from original data volume of 800 Mbps to average 2.5 Mbps." At the same time, they've managed to reduce latency to 60 ms, which is really quite good, for talking to space. The plan is to get all of this working in low Earth orbit by 2020.

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