NASA Robotic Mining Competition ME Senior Design Capstone Projects

Grants and Contracts Details


This proposal describes competition requirements and requests funding for a team of ten senior mechanical engineering capstone students at the University of Kentucky (UK) to compete in the NASA Robotic Mining Competition (RMC). The object of the competition is to traverse a simulated Martian terrain to mine regolith simulant, (gravel) [1] buried beneath 30cm of BP-1 (black point lava used to simulate Martian soil) [2]. The robot must then deposit the regolith in a bin back at the starting point. The students will be constructing the robot to enter into the RMC in collaboration with the newly founded NASA RMC Club at UK. The capstone group will be responsible for the mechanical design and construction of the competition robot, while the club will work on remote operation. While a robot currently exists, it is heavy, unreliable, and poorly constructed, which means that the robot must be almost completely rebuilt. The capstone team will be improving upon the existing design for the robot. The team's goals for the 2018-2019 school year are to make the locomotion and excavation systems of the robot lightweight and efficient. Through this redesign, the team will have the robot ready for the RMC, which takes place at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, Florida from May 6-10, 2019. All ten capstone students are required to attend and compete in this competition for their grade.
Effective start/end date1/1/197/31/20


  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration


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