NASA has signed an agreement with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) of Worcester, Mass., to manage the Sample Return Robot Challenge, one of the agency’s new Centennial Challenges prize competitions.
The challenge will demonstrate how a robot can locate and retrieve geologic samples from varied terrain without human control. This challenge has a prize purse of $1.5 million. The objective of the competition is to encourage innovations in automatic navigation and robotic manipulator technologies.
Innovations stemming from this challenge are intended to improve NASA’s capability to explore a variety of destinations in space and enhance the nation’s robotic technology for use in industries and applications on Earth.
“WPI has significant experience managing robotic competitions and brings extensive subject matter expertise to the partnership, making them a great choice to manage the Sample Return Robot Challenge,” said Larry Cooper, program executive for NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program at agency headquarters in Washington. “We look forward to WPI overseeing the competition and bringing together innovative teams with creative problem-solving ideas.”
Now we eagerly await the Allied Org selections for the Nanosat Launcher Challenge and the Night Rover Challenge.
The link for WPI's challenge site is here.