Who Are We?
Astrobotics at Virginia Tech is a senior design team based out of the Joseph F. Ware Advanced Engineering Laboratory that competes in the NASA Lunabotics Competition.
The team is currently comprised of undergraduate engineering students of all years and majors.
How the team works
The engineers operate on a one-year design cycle, designing and fabricating the robot in-house at Virginia Tech’s Ware Lab.
The engineers are organized into two sub-teams; mechanical design and controls.
NASA Lunabotics Competition
What is the NASA Lunabotics Competition?
The NASA Lunabotics Competition is a design challenge for college teams based off of the current NASA mission of traveling to, and potentially inhabiting the moon. The Lunabotics competition challenges college level teams to design and build an autonomous robot that can maneuver a rocky terrain and mine gravel in a simulated lunar environment.
If you are interested in reading more about the rules of the competition, click here.
This sub-team works on the design and manufacture of the robot and focuses on four main systems.
The drive system is what allows the robot to traverse the competition arena. Our team is currently designing the chassis and deciding on a drive system and style, such as the use of wheels or treads.
The primary goal of the NASA Lunabotics Competition is to mine as much gravel as possible, so the mining system is one of the most important and complex systems on the robot. There are many different mining systems that are used by teams in the competition. This year, our team is using a bucket elevator system for mining.
In addition to mining the material, the team is required to dump all collected material in a bin placed in the mining arena. In order to do this successfully, often times a separate dumping mechanism is required. Two of the most commonly used dumping systems are the pivoted dump body and the conveyor belt dumping system.
This sub team works to make our robot autonomous as well as make the robot function. Our team uses C++ and python languages to code our robot.
How to Apply
While applications have closed for the 2022-2023 competition season, we do hope that you will consider joining us for the 2023-2024 season.
Thank you to our sponsors!
If you would like to sponsor us for the 2022-2023 competition season, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Tech Student Engineers' Council