Category Archives: Robots

NASA’s Sample Return Robot Challenge Competition Registration NOW OPEN

oo2013samplerobotRegistration is now open for teams wishing to compete in the $1.495 million robotics competition known as the Sample Return Robot Challenge, sponsored by NASA and managed by Worcester Polytechnic Institute of Worcester, MA. Registration for the competition will close on January 7, 2014 with late registration available until March 15, 2014. The competition will be held June 11-13, 2014.

For information about the Sample Return Robot Challenge rules, requirements, and how to register, visit:
http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={A282D064-383A-8906-2956-A6D67CE2964D}&path=open

“The objective of the competition is to encourage innovations in automatic navigation and robotic manipulator technologies that NASA could incorporate into future missions,” said Michael Gazarik, NASA’s associate administrator for space technology in Washington. “Innovations stemming from this challenge may improve NASA’s capability to explore an asteroid or Mars, and advance robotic technology for use in industries and applications here on Earth.”

To win, a team must demonstrate a fully autonomous robot that can seek out samples and return them to a designated point within a set time period. Robots will be required to navigate over unknown terrain, around obstacles, and in varied lighting conditions without human control, or use of GPS, or other terrestrial navigation aids.

This is a Centennial Challenge in which NASA provides the prize purse for technological achievements. The challenge is extended to individuals, groups and companies. Unlike most contracts or grants, awards will be made only after solutions are demonstrated successfully. Since the program’s inception in 2005, NASA’s Centennial Challenges has awarded more than $6 million to 15 different competition-winning teams through 24 events. Competitors have included private companies, citizen inventors and academia working outside the traditional aerospace industry.

The Sample Return Robot Challenge is part of the Centennial Challenges Program within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA’s future missions. For more information about NASA’s investment in space technology, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

NASA Academies Now Accepting Applications for Summer Internships – Deadline January 23, 2012

Now Available! Applications for the 2012 NASA Academies

To apply for the NASA Academies, please visit the following website: http://www.AcademyApp.com.

This application serves the:

  • NASA Academy at Ames Research Center (Mountain View, CA)
  • NASA Academy at Glenn Research Center (Cleveland, OH)
  • NASA Academy at Marshall Space Flight Center (Huntsville, AL)
  • NASA Aeronautics Academy at Ames Research Center (Mountain View, CA)
  • NASA Aeronautics Academy at Dryden Flight Research Center (Edwards AFB, CA)
  • NASA Aeronautics Academy at Glenn Research Center (Cleveland, OH)
  • NASA Aeronautics Academy at Langley Research Center (Hampton, VA)
  • NASA Lunar and Planetary Science Academy at Goddard Space Flight (Greenbelt, MD)
  • NASA Propulsion Academy at Marshall Space Flight Center (Huntsville, AL)
  • NASA Robotics Academy at Marshall Space Flight Center (Huntsville, AL)

Application Deadline January 23, 2012. More than just internships, the NASA Academies offer experiences in hands-on research, project management, leadership, teamwork and multi-disciplinary collaboration. Student Interns participate in mentored research projects, facility tours, social events, team building exercises, and academic colloquiums.

Live Video Chat: Robots Digging Up Martian Geology – Oct 5, 2011

Curiosity Mars Rover

Participate in the live video chat about the Mars Science Laboratory and the Curiosity Rover! Oct 5, 2011.

NASA Explorer Schools invites students in grades 4-9 from across the U.S. and Departments of Defense and State schools to participate in a live video webchat with Paulo Younse, a robotics engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif. Younse will answer student questions about a career as a robotics engineer and the soon-to-be launched Martian rover, Curiosity, that has 10 scientific instruments aboard. Curiosity is about twice as long and more than five times as heavy as any previous rover.

The hour-long video chat begins at noon EDT on Oct 5, 2011. You do not need to be a participant of the NASA Explorer Schools project to participate in the chat.

For background information about Curiosity, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html.

Watch a live Curiosity Cam video feed to observe NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover being assembled in a clean room at JPL. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/building_curiosity.html

To learn more about NES, please visit the http://www.explorerschools.nasa.gov website.

For more information about this NES live video chat, visit http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/nes2/home/younse-chat.html.

2011 SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge – Registration Deadline Sept 5, 2011

NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory are offering high school students the opportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space.

The 2011 Zero Robotics challenge is a continuation and expansion of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics education program using bowling ball-sized spherical satellites aboard the International Space Station.

The Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, are used inside the station to test maneuvers for spacecraft performing autonomous rendezvous and docking. The three satellites that make up SPHERES fly in formation inside the station’s cabin. Each is self-contained with power, propulsion, computing and navigation equipment. Test results support satellite servicing, vehicle assembly and spacecraft that fly in formation.

The SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge requires high school student teams to write their own algorithm to fly the satellites in the station. Teams must register before Sept. 5, 2011, at http://zerorobotics.mit.edu/.

Entries will be evaluated using simulations. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., will host a ground test 2D competition in October. Two elimination rounds in the 3D online simulation will be held in November. The top 27 teams will have their code sent to the station, where an astronaut will program the SPHERES satellites to run their tests.

The Zero Robotics challenge, facilitated by MIT, TopCoder and Aurora Flight Sciences, continues the STEM focus of the SPHERES program. The 2011 challenge expands on a pilot program performed in 2009 and 2010. By making the benefits and resources of the space program tangible to high school students, Zero Robotics is designed to inspire future scientists and engineers. Students will have the opportunity to push their limits and develop skills in STEM. This program builds critical engineering skills for students such as problem solving, design thought process, operations training, team work and presentation skills.

MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory developed SPHERES in 2006 to provide DARPA, NASA and other researchers with a long-term test bed for validating technologies critical to the operation of future satellites, docking missions and satellite autonomous maneuvers. The satellites provide opportunities to test a wide range of hardware and software at an affordable cost.

For additional information about NASA and MIT’s Zero Robotics program, visit http://go.nasa.gov/zero-robotics.

For additional information about DARPA, visit http://www.darpa.mil.

Please e-mail any questions about this opportunity to Jason Crusan at Jason.Crusan@nasa.gov.

2011 SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge – Registration Deadline Sept 5, 2011

NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory are offering high school students the opportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space.

The 2011 Zero Robotics challenge is a continuation and expansion of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics education program using bowling ball-sized spherical satellites aboard the International Space Station.

The Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, are used inside the station to test maneuvers for spacecraft performing autonomous rendezvous and docking. The three satellites that make up SPHERES fly in formation inside the station’s cabin. Each is self-contained with power, propulsion, computing and navigation equipment. Test results support satellite servicing, vehicle assembly and spacecraft that fly in formation.

The SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge requires high school student teams to write their own algorithm to fly the satellites in the station. Teams must register before Sept. 5, 2011, at http://zerorobotics.mit.edu/

Entries will be evaluated using simulations. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., will host a ground test 2D competition in October. Two elimination rounds in the 3D online simulation will be held in November. The top 27 teams will have their code sent to the station, where an astronaut will program the SPHERES satellites to run their tests.

The Zero Robotics challenge, facilitated by MIT, continues the STEM focus of the SPHERES program. The 2011 challenge expands on a pilot program performed in 2009 and 2010. By making the benefits and resources of the space program tangible to high school students, Zero Robotics is designed to inspire future scientists and engineers. Students will have the opportunity to push their limits and develop skills in STEM. This program builds critical engineering skills for students such as problem solving, design thought process, operations training, team work and presentation skills.

MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory developed SPHERES in 2006 to provide DARPA, NASA and other researchers with a long-term test bed for validating technologies critical to the operation of future satellites, docking missions and satellite autonomous maneuvers. The satellites provide opportunities to test a wide range of hardware and software at an affordable cost.

For additional information about NASA and MIT’s Zero Robotics program, visit http://go.nasa.gov/zero-robotics

For additional information about DARPA, visit http://www.darpa.mil

Video Chat: How to Build a Mars Rover – Nov 23, 2010

Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are currently assembling and testing the rover and other components of the Mars Science Laboratory in a clean room. The rover, known as Curiosity, is scheduled to launch at the end of 2011. JPL’s Education Office is hosting video chats about the mission for classrooms. Chats will feature the continuous live video feed of the rover’s construction, available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasajpl

The first chat will be held on Nov. 23, 2010, from 10 to 10:30 a.m. PDT (1 to 1:30 p.m. EDT). Mars Science Laboratory Deputy Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada will be the guest.

Each chat will be limited to six classrooms. Interested teachers are asked to send an email as soon as possible to jplspaceeducation@gmail.com. Classrooms will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For full details, please visit http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/education/index.cfm?page=220

NASA Announces 2010 SPHERES Zero-Robotics Challenge – Registration Due September 10, 2010

NASA and MIT are challenging high school teams to design software to program small satellites aboard the International Space Station. The competition centers on the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES.

Spheres

NASA Announces 2010 SPHERES Zero-Robotics Challenge - Registration Due September 10, 2010

SPHERES are bowling-ball-sized spherical satellites used to test maneuvers for spacecraft performing autonomous rendezvous and docking. Three of these satellites fly inside the station’s cabin. Each is self-contained with power, propulsion, computing and navigation equipment.

The Zero-Robotics investigation, run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., is designed to inspire future scientists and engineers. The teams are asked to address challenges of satellite docking, assembly and flight formation. The 2010 Zero-Robotics Challenge expands on a limited pilot program performed in fall 2009. This expanded pilot, called HelioSPHERES, will involve high schools from across the country during the 2010-2011 academic year. This new education program builds critical engineering skills for students, such as problem solving, design thought process, operations training, teamwork and presentation skills.

The first 100 high school teams to pre-register by Sept. 10, 2010, will be able to submit full proposals for the competition. Their full proposals are due by Sept. 14. More information and registration instructions are available at http://zerorobotics.mit.edu.

Twenty teams selected from the 100 candidates will compete using simulations and ground-based testing at MIT. The software of the top 10 winners will be sent to the station, and an astronaut aboard the orbiting laboratory will program the SPHERES satellites to run the students’ tests.

MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory developed the SPHERES program to provide the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA and other researchers with a long-term test bed for validating technologies critical to the operation of future satellites, docking missions and satellite autonomous maneuvers. SPHERES have been used by many organizations, including other government agencies and graduate student research groups, since the program began in 2006. The satellites provide opportunities to test a wide range of hardware and software at an affordable cost.

For additional information on NASA and MIT’s Zero-Robotics program, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/science/experiments/SPHERES-Zero-Robotics.html.

To read about last year’s competition, visit http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/9-12/features/code-of-space-robots.html.

To read more about the SPHERES satellites and to see videos of them in action on the International Space Station, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/spheres.html.

MoonBots Google Lunar X PRIZE LEGO MINDSTORMS Challenge – Registration Deadline May 15, 2010

The X PRIZE Foundation, Google Inc., LEGO Systems, National Instruments, and Wired’s GeekDad announce “MoonBots: A Google Lunar X PRIZE LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge”. The new contest will challenge small teams comprised of children and adults to design, program, and construct robots that perform simulated lunar missions similar to those required to win the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, a private race to the Moon designed to enable commercial exploration of space while engaging the global public.

To win the MoonBots Challenge, teams of adults and children ( 9 years and older) must first develop a simulated lunar robot with design software and then build and test this robot with a LEGO MINDSTORMS kit. They also must provide written and video essays about their participation in the Challenge and about the importance of exploration of the Moon.

Registration ends May 15, 2010
Visit the official Moonbots website for details: http://moonbots.org/

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