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Motiv Space Systems, JPL to develop ‘robotic arm’ for moon exploration

Charbel Kadib

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab has partnered with Motiv Space Systems to develop new technology designed to withstand extreme temperatures on the moon.

Motiv Space Systems, JPL to develop ‘robotic arm’ for moon exploration
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Motiv Space Systems has signed a collaboration agreement with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab rotary (JPL) to develop ‘COLDArm’ — a robotic arm that will be built to withstand the extreme cold of the moon’s south pole.

The development of COLDArm (short for Cold Operable Lunar Deployable Arm), which forms part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program, is designed to operate in cryogenic environments using electronics and lubricant-free mechanical components that can function in environments as cold as minus 172 degrees.

“The design will reduce the power needed for a rover or lander’s operations, enabling robots equipped with the arm to extend missions,” Tom McCarthy, Motiv’s vice president of business development, said.

The technology, which leverages both Motiv and NASA capabilities, is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate through the Game Changing Development Program.

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COLDArm is the latest iteration of Motiv’s suite of technologies, with the firm contributing to the development of ‘Perseverance’ and ‘xLink’.

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