Los Angeles-based startup Machina Labs is making significant strides in the space sector by collaborating with satellite and hypersonic vehicle manufacturers. Since its establishment in 2019, Machina Labs has been working closely with prestigious organizations like NASA, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, and SpaceX to incorporate robotics and artificial intelligence into space-related manufacturing processes.
In collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Machina Labs focused on developing robotic technology for manufacturing metal tooling needed for composite structures. On the other hand, for NASA, Machina Labs leveraged machine learning-based software to facilitate in-space manufacturing using autonomous articulated robots.
Currently, Machina Labs is extending its expertise to satellite manufacturers, assisting them in rapidly iterating designs. Edward Mehr, CEO and co-founder of Machina Labs, explained that through their technology, manufacturers can experiment with different tank designs and evaluate their functionality. Additionally, the company is helping customers manufacture complex objects that were traditionally challenging to produce.
For instance, doughnut-shaped toroidal propellant tanks, which were popular in the past, are rarely produced nowadays due to the difficulties and time-consuming nature of their manufacturing process. Machina Labs’ innovative technique, known as Roboforming, aims to reduce costs and expedite the production of toroidal tanks. This groundbreaking approach has the potential to redefine manufacturing capabilities in the space industry.
In the realm of hypersonic vehicles, Machina Labs collaborates with manufacturers to develop materials capable of withstanding the extreme heat experienced during reentry. Through their technology, they are able to process materials like titanium and Inconel, which are known for their durability in high-temperature environments.
Machina Labs relies on machine learning and artificial intelligence in their machines, utilizing Nvidia chips to replicate the work of skilled craftsmen. The company has created empirical models to understand how different materials deform throughout the shaping process. By deciphering the appropriate set of processes for each specific geometry, Machina Labs engineers guide the robots to manipulate the materials and create the desired parts.
Machina Labs’ significant contributions to the space sector highlight the potential of integrating cutting-edge technology into manufacturing processes. Through their collaborations and advancements in robotics, artificial intelligence, and materials, they are revolutionizing the production of complex components in the space industry.
– Machina Labs: Los Angeles startup that specializes in incorporating robotics and artificial intelligence into space-related manufacturing processes.
– Roboforming: Machina Labs’ innovative process that reduces costs and accelerates the manufacturing of complex objects like toroidal tanks.
– Hypersonic Vehicles: Vehicles capable of achieving speeds greater than five times the speed of sound.
– AI (Artificial Intelligence): The simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and learn like humans.
– ML (Machine Learning): A subset of artificial intelligence that enables machines to learn and improve automatically from experience.
– SpaceNews (www.spacenews.com)