Moon Race Roundup: The Hard Life
Walks on the beach, trips to Hawaii, and crazy acrobatics challenged the Moon robots this week.
By Nick Azer on May 14, 2014
This week, on the road to the Moon...
Hard labor, as Google Lunar XPRIZE team Puli 's robots were taking on Hawaii---the hard way! Testing their Moon mettle up together on the slopes of Mauna Kea:
The spot's a famous testing ground for Lunar and other technology---as the rocky slopes provide a good allegory for the more tumultous regions you (and your robot) might encounter up on the Moon (or other worlds!).
The sights and scenery of space aren't always that rocky, though---and so even a trip to the beach can provide a great space test, as team Hakuto (out of Japan) showed:
The Moon's surface has been so obliterated by impacts over the billions of years of its history that it has a powder-like tetxure, and so TETRIS (as that little guy is called) can enjoy a good walk on the beach---while getting some work done!
Meanwhile, the plucky students of Penn State Lunar Lion have been cracking the challenges of the Moon:
...And the sights of Washington D.C.! Including a cool scale model of the solar system, plus NASA Goddard:
For even more inspiration & knowledge, team Stellar (by way of Croatia and Australia) got out there and showed off one of their awesome workshops:
Now that's how you do education. (Never had any Moon robots in my classrooms!)
Meanwhile, Puli (back in Hungary) was putting in the hard work (and funny tests) of getting their rover out there in the public eye---and gearing the next generations towards the Moon!:
What will the Puli bot conquer next? Moon pies? A cage match with other robots? The surface of the Moon? Stay tuned to find out!
I'll be rounding these up every week---as the teams march forward towards history----so keep an eye here for the latest developments from your moon race!
For the full skinny on *everything* that happens, follow the official feeds for team blogs, team social, and team videos. You can also sign up for the XPRIZE newsletter to get cool PRIZE news in your inbox!
~Nick Azer, resident history nerd/blogger dude/Moon advocate extraordinaire
[May 7th-May 13th, 2014.]