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What's your crazy idea for a space robot?
Challenge Type: engineering
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top 50%
94 months

Space exploration has moved from lifting satellites into orbit and placing men on the moon to sending probes to the edges of our solar system and the eventuality of manned missions to Mars. The only reason these advances have been possible is because of the incredible new technologies dreamed up by dedicated scientists, technicians and engineers.

Moving into the future, some of the most important space tech will be robotics. Robots that collaborate with humans and work with them side by side, especially to assist in dangerous tasks that humans cannot complete, will be critical to achieve humanity's space exploration goals.

Orion CEV Spacecraft and other transports from private companies will carry humans through space but astronauts can only complete certain tasks. Structure fabrication, station and spacecraft maintenance, and resource extraction will all be accomplished by robots, but how?

NO TECHNICAL BACKGROUND NECESSARY: This challenge is open to any and all students to submit unique or original ideas. Technical detail is welcome but not required.


Propose a robot to assist in space missions:

1. What is your robot and how will it assist in space missions?

2. What functions will it serve and in what context (on spacecraft, in spacecraft, on Mars, etc.)?

3. What specific technologies will your robot rely on to allow it work?

4. (Optional) Sketches, drawings, CAD renderings, mock-ups, videos, or any other visuals that show or better explain your robot

- What should my robot do?

- Structure fabrication

- Station and spacecraft repair & maintenance

- Resource extraction

- Tasks too dangerous for humans

- Tasks to be completed in zero oxygen environments

- Human interaction (space journeys can last 2-3 years!)

- Food preparation

- Repetitive tasks

- Medical care

- Adding capabilities to the human body

- Recording or journaling

- Anything else! We’re open to any ideas you have to offer!

Things to consider:

- What are these ideas for? We’re excited to engage with as many students as possible so anyone and everyone should submit a solution to this project.

- Robot considerations- Take into account fuel/energy sources and human safety around the robot.

- No Sci-Fi please! We’re open to advanced technologies that are still in development, but nothing that cannot be accomplished in the next 20 years!

- Cost is key! Getting funding for space missions is difficult at best, so ideas that can help cut costs are a great idea.

- Terrestrial applications? Will your robot be useful on earth? How so?

    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • Meets Deliverables
  • Creativity
  • Clarity
Reward Tiers
Top 10%
will share $1,000
Next 15%
will share $400
Next 25%
will share $200
Actual individual rewards will be based on the total number of eligible solutions.
$125.00 Michael Halloran University of Illinois
$125.00 Erod Keaton Baybay Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
$125.00 Jeffrey Malik Colorado State University
$125.00 Eric Lin University of California at Berkeley
$125.00 a.skjellstad
$125.00 Meagan Bartlett Columbus State Community College
$125.00 ‍‍Calvin Froehlich Missouri Western State University
$125.00 Ethan Chlebowski North Carolina State University
$36.40 Alyssa Paparella Sarah Lawrence College
$36.40 Jakob Bruhns Middle Tennessee State University
$36.40 Carlos R CETYS
$36.40 Adithya Mohan Georgia Institute of Technology
$36.40 Dione Sun Boston University
$36.40 Elijah Pivo Johns Hopkins University
$36.40 Christopher Neroth Binghamton University, SUNY
$36.40 Ankit Saini Worcester Polytechnic Institute
$36.40 Danny Farah University of Toronto
$36.40 Seth Leavitt Pennsylvania State University
$36.40 Matthew Cowan University of Colorado
$11.10 Aadesh Singh University of California, Los Angeles
$11.10 Dallas DeBruin University of Dayton
$11.10 Ricardo Juarez Cesar University of Houston
$11.10 Cameron Fisch Santa Clara University
$11.10 Abhinav Talwar Northwestern University
$11.10 Yasmin Molune Assumption University
$11.10 Vishnuvardhan Reddy Stanford University
$11.10 Joseph Nardone New York University
$11.10 Emily Rose University of Illinois
$11.10 swmchug Clemson University