NASA Awards Cash Prizes to Sample Return Robot Challenge Winning Teams

NASA sample return robot challengeNASA has awarded individual $5,000 cash prizes to five teams that won Level 1 of its Sample Return Robot Challenge hosted by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute to help encourage citizen inventors develop new autonomous navigation and robotics technologies.

The space agency said Tuesday Team AI, Alabama Astrorobotics, MAXed Out, Mind & Iron and Sirius have won the challenge to design robots that can autonomously locate, collect and return samples without human control or the aid of Earth-based technologies.

“The intensity and commitment all of these competitors showed is a reflection of the relentless innovative spirit we hope to discover and enable through public challenges,” said Monsi Roman, Centennial Challenges program manager.

All five teams will join Survey and the West Virginia University Mountaineers in Level 2 of the competition that will take place Sept. 2 through 5 for a chance to win or share the remaining $1.36 million purse, NASA added.

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