Japanese firm Kajima is to start developing construction equipment to be used on Mars and the moon.
The firm’s high-precision machinery would be able to be controlled and programmed by people back on earth.
But they would also be able to be autonomous and networked so that the machines could work by themselves.
This is necessary because there would be a time delay transferring signals to Mars and the moon, and would stop the machines having accidents by crashing into each other.
The machinery will be light-weight so it can easily be taken out of the earth’s atmosphere.
It could be used to play a part in the construction of buildings and bases for humans on the moon and Mars, and Kajima says it aims to have the equipment ready by around 2030 or 2040.
The project, in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) would be an extension of the firm’s A4CSEL (Automated Autonomous Advanced Accelerated Construction System) technology.
A4CSEL allows machines to be controlled from afar using apps on things like tablet computers, and was used in 2015 in the building of dams in the country’s Oita and Fukuoka prefectures.