NASA to host lunabotics mining competition

May 7, 2013

Fifty teams of undergraduate and graduate students from around the world will demonstrate their lunar excavator robots May 20 - 24 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Practice sessions for the fourth annual Lunabotics Mining Competition will take place May 20 - 21, followed by the official competition.

The teams have designed and built remote controlled or autonomous robots that can excavate simulated lunar dirt. During the competition, the teams’ designs — known as lunabots — will go head-to-head to determine which machine can collect and move the most simulated lunar dirt within a specific amount of time, NASA said in a news release.

The competition is a NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate project designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields by expanding opportunities for student research and design. The project provides a competitive environment to foster innovative ideas and solutions that could potentially be applied to future NASA missions.

Although the competition is for college students, the event offers many opportunities for students of all ages. NASA is hosting a college recruitment fair for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors showcasing STEM education opportunities available at top colleges and universities across the nation.

For more information on Lunabotics 2013, associated activities and social media links to participate virtually, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/lunabotics

 

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