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Seven Teams to Compete in NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge Finals

NASA imageNASA is slated to hold the final phase of the agency’s space exploration robotics challenge in September after five years of competition and will award a $1.36 million prize to the winning team.

Seven finalists have been selected out of 40 participating teams worldwide to compete for two hours to locate up to 10 unknown samples with different sizes, shapes, locations and difficulty levels under the easy, intermediate and hard categories, NASA said Tuesday.

The three-day Sample Return Robot Challenge will take place at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts from Sept. 4 to 6.

Finalists in the competition are:

  • Team Al – Toronto, Canada
  • Alabama Astrobotics – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • MAXed Out – Santa Clara, California
  • Mind & Iron – Seattle, Washington
  • Sirius – South Hadley, Massachusetts
  • Survey – Los Angeles
  • West Virginia University Mountaineers – Morgantown, West Virginia

The competition will close with an awards ceremony and press conference on Sept. 6 at the WPI quadrangle.

The challenge is part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program with a goal to help further innovation in space exploration robotics technologies.

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