Not only did Iowa State’s Team LunaCY succeed in building a better robot and making a good showing at this year’s NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition, it also brought home three awards and the first place title.
The Lunabotics Club won the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence, first place in on-site mining and third place in outreach, beating out 49 other teams from around the world.
Robots must collect at least 10 kilograms of simulated lunar soil in 10 minutes, but Iowa State’s robot, HERMES, mined more than 115 kilograms during its last run. That was after the team put in hours of extra time attempting to make the robot run autonomously but ran into problems during competition.
The small improvements made by Team LunaCY each year resulted in a big victory for the team, which was a happy ending to the year. “It’s nice that after all these years we’ve finally won the whole thing,” Project Director Katie Goebel told the ISU News Service.
Additionally, the team put together a video of the last competition run shot using two Flip Cams given to NASA judges. Click here to view the video on YouTube.