The XPRIZE Foundation and LEGO Announce Winners of 2012 MoonBots Challenge
PLAYA VISTA, CA (December 13, 2012) — The XPRIZE Foundation and LEGO Group announced today the winners of MoonBots 2012: A Google Lunar XPRIZE LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge. This third annual competition challenged teams of students ages 9 to 17 to design, program and build robots that simulate lunar missions similar to those required to win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global incentivized competition to further the commercial exploration of space.
The Grand Prize winner, Team HungaroBots from Hungary, earned a VIP trip to test their creations at the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems in Hilo, Hawaii. The team, comprised of 16- and 17-year-olds from the town of Sopron, Hungary, was introduced to the competition by the Google Lunar XPRIZE team, Puli Space.
The runners-up were Team Incredibots from Ohio, Team Apollo 19 from California, and Team Titanium Springboks from South Africa, all of whom will receive complimentary registrations into the FIRST® robotics league.
The student competition, which began in May, attracted 147 teams from 22 countries who each submitted an entertaining, scientific video about space exploration and their proposed designs. From there, a panel of judges selected 30 finalists, each of whom were tasked with building and programming a LEGO MINDSTORMS robot, creating an original one-of-a-kind lunar landscape for their robot to explore, and using the landscape as a tool to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in their respective communities.
“We are proud to have seen the number of entrants double over last year, and encouraged by the increased global reach of this competition,” says Chanda Gonzales, Google Lunar XPRIZE Education Director. “The ingenuity and innovation displayed by the finalists speaks volumes to the promise of future space exploration and associated scientific and technological advancements.”
“With more freedom in the competition parameters, teams have had to be very creative and imaginative when building their own Lunar landscapes and designing the LEGO MINDSTORMS robots to negotiate them,” adds Steven Canvin, LEGO MINDSTORMS Community Manager. “We are thrilled to partner with the XPRIZE Foundation to provide the tools and the framework to enable young people around the world to promote STEM education within their schools and communities.”
In addition to the XPRIZE Foundation and LEGO Group, competition partners include WIRED magazine, Dexter Industries, Rotacaster, PISCES, Cleantech Open, and FIRST®. More information, including the full list of finalists, can be found at http://www.moonbots.org.