NASA Robotic Mining Competition

  • Donohue, Kevin (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The concept of expanding our technological capabilities on Mars is a task which brings about many complicated and rewarding challenges. A sustainable Martian base requires the ability to gather resources from Mars, as opposed to the challenge of transporting supplies from Earth. One resource of great interest is the terrain of the Martian surface. Excavating and analyzing Martian terrain is not a new concept but NASA is interested in mining the Martian surface on a much larger scale. They are also interested in the prospect of excavating ice. An efficient portable mining robot is desired to carry out this task. This type of robot could be used to help support a self-sufficient base on Mars. NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition charges college engineering students to design and build a mining robot that can traverse Martian terrain (The competition itself will use the simulated chaotic terrain), excavate Martian regolith and ice simulant, and deposit it in a central location within a limited time frame. Along with the essential functionality of mining, the robot must be designed to ensure maximum efficiency of resources such as power, weight, user control etc. This project funds student teams to build a robot for NASA's annual competition.
Effective start/end date1/1/161/31/17


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