PickNik Robotics, a robotics software and engineering services company, has agreed a collaboration with CisLunar Industries, a space technology company working on in-space metal processing.
The companies will explore how PickNik’s MoveIt Space software for robotic arms can help CisLunar with the precision feeding of metal materials into their in-space metal-processing system, Modular Space Foundry.
Workflows will include the dismantling, manipulation, transport, and transfer of simulated or actual metal debris into pieces of appropriate size and shape to be fed into the in-space metal processing system. The purpose is to support the processing and removal of space debris.
PickNik Robotics MoveIt Space technology makes it easy for Earth-based operators to coordinate autonomous, modular robots in IVA (intravehicular activity) and EVA (extravehicular activity) applications. It does this by integrating best-in-class motion planning and control software with an intuitive user interface.
CisLunar Industries’ Modular Space Foundry can receive metal and process it into basic metal products for In-space Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (ISAM) markets.
It can also process it into a metal propellant for in-space logistics. The company demonstrated an initial Earth-based prototype in 2021 and continues research and development of relevant technologies.
Dr Dave Coleman, CEO of PickNik Robotics, says: “PickNik Robotics’ MoveIt Space can be used for a broad range of space applications.
“It is gratifying to collaborate with CisLunar, a company that is so passionately developing solutions to help get rid of the increasing amounts of space debris.”
Gary Calnan, CEO of CisLunar Industries, says: “CisLunar Industries is laser focused on in-space metal processing.
“This collaboration with PickNik will help optimize the use of robotics in the important task of space debris remediation.”
The PickNik Robotics team has direct experience with the Robonaut 2, OSAM-1, and OSAM-2 programs and has successfully completed several NASA SBIRs with Johnson Space Center.
It also recently won an additional NASA contract and a new Space Force contract. In late March 2022, PickNik Robotics announced it was collaborating with Sierra Space on robotics for space habitats and deep space missions.
PickNik Robotics and CisLunar Industries share a common vision for a robust, dynamic, industrial space economy.