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NASA Announces Lunabotics Mining Competition Winners
In late May, 36 teams of undergraduate and graduate students from around the globe tested their robot designs.
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Jun 03, 2011

NASA rendering of a future mining operation on the moon, an endeavor that would rely heavily on both robotics and highly trained human operators. (Credit: NASA)

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In a challenge aimed at stimulating interest in robotics and related scientific disciplines as well as exploring the skills and technologies that will be required for future mining operations on the moon, some 36 student teams gathered at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida from May 26-28. 

During the competition, teams remotely controlled excavators, called lunabots, to determine which could collect the most simulated lunar soil during a specified timeframe. The first place mining competition team was Laurentian University in Ontario, Canada. The Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence winner was the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. 

Winners in other competition categories are: 

  • On-Site Mining Award Winners: University of North Dakota and West Virginia University 
  • Judges Innovation Design Award: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz. 
  • Arizona Communications Efficiency Award: Laurentian University 
  • Team Spirit Award: University of Alabama 
  • Slide Presentation Award: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. 
  • Outreach Project Award: Montana Tech, University of Montana 
  • Systems Engineering Paper Award: John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark. 

The competition is designed to engage and retain students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines critical to NASA missions. 

For more information about the competition, visit:

For information on NASA's education programs, visit:  


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