The winners of MoonBots 2.0: A Google Lunar X Prize Lego Mindstorms Challenge have been announced. The contest challenges teams of students ages to design, program and build robots that simulate lunar missions mirroring the Lunar X Prize international competition.
Over the course of several months, teams were asked to submit proposals that explained why their robot should be funded to go to the moon, similar to proposals by actual Google Lunar X Prize teams. They also completed a community outreach program that helped educate students in their area about the importance of STEM education. Then, after a narrowing process, semi-finalists used CAD software to build robots based on their proposals. These robots had to complete a series of tasks during a live mission webcast, which was viewed by a series of judges.
The Grand Prize winner, Team LegoAces from Granville, OH, was chosen from seventy-five of teams competing, and earned a VIP trip to Legoland Florida. Second place went to Team Just Ducky from Woodbury, MN and Team Lunar Lords from Bellevue, WA grabbed third place.
“The X Prize Foundation is proud of the accomplishments by all student participants and how they inspire their communities in science and exploration,” says Chanda Gonzales, Google Lunar X Prize Education Manager. “We are thrilled to see high levels of interest among younger audiences in MoonBots and Google Lunar X Prize. This is a terrific opportunity for them to work on projects that could turn into future careers.”
“It’s fantastic to see what efforts and energy the 20 finalist teams put into their outreach activities as part of the MoonBots 2.0 competition,” adds Steven Canvin, Lego Mindstorms Community Manager. “They’ve been amazing in connecting with organizations and companies working with space exploration, presenting in their communities and reaching broader groups through mass media. MoonBots 2.0 has been successful in attracting young budding scientists who have grown with the challenge, learned a lot in the process, built ingenious Lego Mindstorms robots (some for the first time), and taught others about their research. The future for space exploration and associated sciences looks very promising.”
GeekDad and Wired are proud sponsors of the MoonBots competition.