Our mission as the NYU Robotics Design team is to provide an opportunity for students who are eager to apply all of their knowledge about engineering into a long term project, providing them with hands on experience designing and building robots. Our team is composed of students whose disciplines span across many engineering fields, and are at various stages in their education, creating a unique environment of learning and mentorship. We participate in annual national robotics competitions that require passion, perseverance, and dedication from all of our members to create and execute innovative designs for each competition. Our team also believes in the positive impact of STEM education for children of all ages, and organize outreach events to teach students about robotics and to encourage them to follow their dreams.
The NASA Robotic Mining Competition takes place every year at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The goal of this competition is to design robots that are capable of collecting Martian soil and deposit it into a bin. The larger philosophy behind the challenge is to be able to harness resources present on Mars to sustain human travel and possible settlement.
As scientist Carl Sagan once mentioned, space is the final frontier of humankind. In a time not too long ago, the world beyond the sky was unattainable to humans. However the advancements in science have helped us defy gravity and roam around in space. We have reached the moon, sent out satellites to tether the world together, now time has come for us to develop ways to not only explore outer space, but to settle alien worlds. The researchers at NASA have already confirmed that water exists on Mars, hidden away under layers of soil. That's where our robots come in.
In this competition university teams from around the country compete to collect regolith (NASA’s substitute for Martian soil) in the most efficient way possible. Robot weight, power consumption, and levels of autonomous control also contribute to the teams' scores. Other aspects of the competition include community outreach where teams teach children about robotics, programming and fabrication; there are awards for innovative design, team spirit, technical papers, and technical presentations. This competition is a real world challenge for student engineers to prove that they can excel beyond the class room.