Monday, December 10, 2007

ACME Robotics to the 2008 Regolith Excavation Challenge

From I-Newswire comes a press release apparently from a new (at least new to me) Regolith Excavation Challenge team, ACME Robotics. Even though they didn't appear in the 2007 Challenge, they may be in good shape because they were trying in 2007 with a design that may be suitable for the 2008 Challenge:

The first event was held in May of 2007 (no winner) and competition was fierce between the four participating teams. However, Mr. Dhabolt wasn’t there, “I entered the competition. My prototype was nearly complete, but I had to drop out early.” Lack of funding and sponsorship were the main reasons for the early withdrawal, he said. The event highlighted quite an array of designs, but each machine was strictly a “stand and dig” machine – all were autonomous but none had locomotion. ACME Robotics read between the lines and designed a mobile, autonomous excavator. “I guess we have a head start for the 2008 competition,” Mr. Dhabolt said.

There are already a bunch of posts on their blog detailing some of the testing they've done, as well as general information about the contest. Of course they're looking for sponsors and merchandise sales.