Presentation by the ASU Lunabotics Team
This is your tax dollars at work! We are privileged to have a group of Arizona State University students from the School of Earth and Space Exploration, giving us a presentation of the lunar rover they have developed and built under a NASA educational grant. They will give the same presentation to NASA in May. These young men and woman have worked hard on designing a remote controlled robotic rover to explore the moon's surface. NASA Fourth Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition will culminate in May at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The image shows the original mock-up of their rover. In the background stands the two student leaders of the team, Jim Crowell (left) and Ben Stinnett (right).
What is the Lunabotics Mining Competition? The Lunabotics Mining Competition is a university-level competition designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). NASA will directly benefit from the competition by encouraging the development of innovative lunar excavation concepts from universities, which may result in clever ideas and solutions that could be applied to an actual lunar excavation device or payload. The challenge is for students to design and build a remote controlled or autonomous excavator, called a Lunabot, that can collect and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms of lunar simulant within 10 minutes. The complexities of the challenge include the abrasive characteristics of the lunar simulant, the weight and size limitations of the Lunabot, and the ability to direct the Lunabot from a remote control center. Scoring for the mining category will require teams to consider a number of design operation factors such as dust tolerance and projection, communications, vehicle mass, energy/power required, and level of autonomy. Click here for the NASA Press Pass:
This is the second year that ASU has competed in the competition. Click here for an article of how they did the first time. Better luck this year!