Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 Lunabotics (University Regolith Excavation) Competition

NASA's Second Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition, a university student competition to excavate and collect simulated lunar regolith that is similar to the NASA Regolith Excavation Centennial Challenge, will be held at the Kennedy Space Center from May 26-28.  I hope this Lunabotics overview will get you in the mood to support this competition.

NASA Invites Reporters To Second Annual Lunabotics Competition - NASA press release

Here's the Lunabotics Facebook page: ESMD Lunar Regolith Excavator Competition.  You can see quite a bit about some of the teams on the Wall page, and there's also a lot of information about other aspects of the competition like last year's event, a Senior Design Course based on the challenge, and more.  There's also a Lunabotics twitter account, but that hasn't been active lately.  That might change as the competition approaches; it's worth a try to check it out then.

There's also a Lunabotics YouTube Channel with video from last year's event, and also some new content.

Now for the teams!  There are quite a few teams, and many of them have been showing their progress on YouTube and other sites.

Temple University Lunabotics 2011:

Colorado School of Mines:

University of North Dakota Robotics:

Harvard Lunabotics 2011 (see quite a few more at their YouTube channel):

Oakton Community College 2011 Lunabotics:

LAR-E (Lunar All-terrain Regolith Excavator) from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott (also see the article Lunabotics & LAR-E: Mechanical Engineering Senior Robotics Design):

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona:

University of Louisville (It looks like this is for a capstone class with a Lunabotics theme, as I don't see the school in the Lunabotics teams list):

UNC Charlotte:

Chondrobot, BRAC University:

Universidad de Los Andes:

Alabama Lunabotics (Also see the Alabama Lunabotics twitter account):

University of Southern Indiana, Lunar Ash Borers:

Here are some other articles, team sites, and other links related to the competition:

McGill LunarEx - team site from McGill University

West Virginia University Lunabotics - This Facebook page has plenty of videos and photos from the team.
McBride-inspired WVU team to compete in Lunabotics Mining competition - WVU Today
Robot to work on the moon : novel creation by WVU students - Gizmo Watch

ISU Lunabotics - Ames, Iowa - Here's another team Facebook page.  They expect to put recent pictures up soon.

UND NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition 2010-2011 - University of North Dakota team site, including photos.

Vizag team hopes to mine lunar surface - Deccan Chronicle

Lunabotics Mining Competition - Team site for The Robotics Association at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

NASA’s Lunabotics 2011 – Symbiosis Sponsors Indian team - Symbiosis Coaching

Engineers to take robot to NASA competition - Collegiate Times, Virginia Tech

NASAMICI is already looking ahead to the 2012 competition, and how Minority Serving Institutions can try to get a $5,000 grant for that event.