Complying with NASA’s guidelines on creating a dirt-digging robot for its first Regolith Excavator Student Competition, an eight-member team from Montana State University has constructed a five-foot, 120-pound robot. Mostly made with recycled aluminum, the mechanical excavator, dubbed as Montana Mule, is hoped to dig the most dirt to win $5,000 award for the students. Moreover, a win means a chance to see the robot launched from the Kennedy Space Center.
The Montana Mule utilizes wireless technology to roll on its four wheels and for internal, electronic communication. A highly developed electronics system controls a motor that turns a chain to move small buckets below the level of its wheels. While the buckets dig the soil, the robot dumps it into the hopper. It will be interesting to see the robot competing with 22 more robots at the competition on May 27-28. NASA will go live here at 9 a.m. Mountain Time on Friday, May 28.
Via: MSU News