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An artist's concept of Canadarm3, located on the exterior of the Gateway. (Credits:  CSA , NASA)
An artist's concept of Canadarm3's large arm on the Lunar Gateway (Credits: CSA, NASA)
November 21, 2023

What if space robots were to act completely autonomously?

This was the mission undertaken by Menya, Levio's artificial intelligence (AI) division in 2018, in partnership with MDA Space on behalf of the Canadian Space Agency. Their goal: to enable the Canadarm3 space robots on the Lunar Gateway station to operate autonomously, using HybridLogic, an AI technology developed by Menya.

“HybridLogic enables robots to reason and plan complex goal-oriented sequences of actions automatically. HybridLogic will be an essential part of the ‘brain’ of Canadam3,” explains Froduald Kabanza, who founded Menya in 2007 and is now Chief Technical Advisor of the AI Division of Levio.

Menya and MDA Space’s goal of operational autonomy of Canadarm3 represents a revolutionary step forward. A system of this exceptional sophistication has yet to be operated autonomously in deep space, so achieving this goal will mark a major advance in space robotics technology. “What we are dealing with here are highly complex operations that require true reasoning and the planning of immediate action. And, importantly, there is practically no allowable margin of error,” says Froduald.

“Working with MDA Space, the world leader in space robotics, has catapulted us to the forefront of the industry,” states Gilles Couturier, COO of Levio. “Being chosen as their partner is a game changer that has opened many doors for us already – and there are even more big projects in the works. We know this is just the beginning of a great partnership that will offer many additional opportunities in the future.”