NASA’s 8th Annual Robotic Mining Competition Comes to an End

Team members from Purdue University prepare their robot miner in the RoboPit at NASA's 8th Annual Robotic Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
Team members from Purdue University prepare their robot miner in the RoboPit at NASA’s 8th Annual Robotic Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Leif Heimbold

The eighth annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition wrapped up Friday. Teams of undergraduate and graduate students from more than 40 colleges and universities across the nation showed off their excavating prowess during the three-day competition, May 24-26. The teams had to design and build either remote-controlled or autonomous excavator robots that traversed a simulated Martian terrain, scoop up the dirt and return it to a hopper within 10 minutes.

The competition is a NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate project designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and math or 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 used on NASA’s journey to Mars.

The University of Alabama was this year’s top winner. See the full list of awards

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