Lunabotics

  • Lunabotics 1
  • Lunabotics 2
  • Lunabotics 3
  • Lunabotics 4
  • Lunabotics 5
  • Lunabotics 6

The NASA Lunabotics Competition (https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/centers/kennedy/technology/nasarm...), previously known as the NASA Robotic Mining Competition, is an annual competition hosted by NASA at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Teams build robots that mine in a simulated Martian environment, where the floor of the arena consists of gravel covered by a layer of packed dust. The robots must cross a section of the arena covered with obstacles, dig for the gravel while sifting out the dust, and return back to deposit the gravel in a collection trough. Teams are scored based on the amount of material they collect during their 10-minute run, as well as other factors such as dust protection, power usage, weight, and level of autonomy. The Mars simulation brings unique challenges, including the drive team being isolated from the arena and Earth-dependent sensors like GPS being banned.

Major agenda items for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 year include:

Mechanical

  • Design and manufacture a new system for storing and depositing material
  • Optimize the weight of existing systems
  • Explore new ideas for the lift that brings the digging wheel up and down

Software

  • Write simple driver-assistance controls such as automatic lift leveling and single-button digging control
  • Fuse information from wheel odometry, Decawaves, IMUs, and Aruco fiducial markers to achieve robust localization
  • Build a 3D map of the arena using Realsense depth cameras and normal cameras running rock detection
  • Combine the above milestones and program full autonomy

VEX

  • Information coming soon!

See the Team Calendar page for meeting dates and times, or email us any questions at robotics@umn.edu.