Regolith Excavation Challenge Results
Paul’s Robotics, a team led by college student, Paul Ventimiglia of Worcester Polytechnic Institute won the $500,000 first prize in the 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge that concluded on Oct. 18. The second place prize of $150,000 was won by Terra Engineering of Gardena, California and the $100,000 third place prize went to Team Braundo of Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Twenty teams qualified for the event that was held at the NASA Ames Research Park in Mountain View, CA. The California Space Education and Workforce Institute managed the competition. The Regolith Excavation Challenge is one of six NASA Centennial Challenges. The half-million dollar prize award was the largest to date in the program and the number of competing teams was also a record.
Multiple images of the winning team by Jamie Foster, California Space Authority:
Pictures 266-336 are of the winning team
The winning team's machine in the box
View Gigapan images:→
The 2008 Regolith Excavation Challenge was held on Aug. 2 and 3 on the campus of the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. The 2008 prize purse was $750,000. Twenty-five teams registered for the competition. Sixteen teams came to San Luis Obispo to compete and although no team was able to win the prize, the competition was very spirited. The challenge was significantly more difficult than the 2007 event. To autonomously navigate through randomly placed rocks and to reach a collection box at the top of a ramp proved to be a taxing technical challenge for all of the entrants. The task required expert integration of multiple systems and thorough testing of complex operational scenarios. Following the competition phase of the event, many of the teams did demonstrate their excavators under less demanding conditions and some were able to deliver loads of regolith to the collection box. No cash prizes were awarded but the judges selected three teams for recognition. Tech Ranch, Slobotics, and Team Walbaum were designated for first, second and third prize, respectively. The competitors included several universities, small businesses and a few individuals. NASA engineers from six different field centers plus Headquarters witnessed the event. During a break, Astronaut Jim Newman addressed the assembled competitors and spectators.