SDSU Team Competes in NASA Robotic Mining Competition

May 21, 2022

Team HADES is representing San Diego State University at the NASA Robotic Mining Competition (RMC) Lunabotics 2022 by designing, building, and operating a lunar mining robot. This student competition has been facilitated through NASA’s Artemis Generation of student competitions and projects, while for Team HADES it was also their San Diego State University Senior Design Capstone project. The competition is an engineering challenge in which students gain experience with the engineering lifecycle process, from concept development to system closeout. During the project lifecycle, the team was able to apply what they have learned inside the classroom in this hands-on project. The goal of NASA RMC is to find innovative solutions to extract material from beneath the lunar surface using a partially autonomous robot with a dust-free operation/design.

In nine months, five Mechanical Engineering (Alyssa Brunen, Sterling Belaire, Linda Clark, Nathan De Chambeau, and William (Billy) Bilicki) and five Electrical & Computer Engineering students (John Paul Edwin Ventura, Jaquelyn Fernandez-Iniguez, Jean Michel Vives, Josh Dolled, and Andrew Chung) worked closely together to create a lunar mining robot. The rover is able to maneuver through a lunar environment, with simulated craters and boulders, dig through a layer of BP-1 to retrieve simulated lunar regolith material beneath it, and deposit the regolith to a specified location. Inspection, gravel mining, average bandwidth consumption, robot energy spent, dust tolerance design & operation, and autonomy are some of the categories HADES will be scored on at the competition.

An important note is that Team HADES is also a first-year competition team, which means that no prior San Diego State University Team has participated in this competition, and HADES has made it to the final, which is an incredible accomplishment and showcases the ability of SDSU’s Engineering Students at such a national high level. The competition will take place May 26th–27th, 2022 at NASA’s Kenndy Space Center in Florida. The goal is to extract a minimum of 1kg of lunar regolith in each of the two 15-minute trials. The more gravel removed, the more points the rover receives, allowing it to place higher in the competition.

Watch Team HADES compete in a pre-recorded live video here.

View photo album of the event here.

View the Team HADES Proof of Life video, a formal submission to NASA, here.

View the HADES Design Day 2022 Video here.