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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

USI competes successfully in second NASA Lunabotics competition

News and Information Article Photo
Ken Schnautz, Brandon Church, Tim House, David Clayton and Allen House.
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Wendy Knipe Bredhold
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The University of Southern Indiana's Lunabotics team was one of the few teams to compete successfully in the 2011 Lunabotics Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in May.

Team members were David Clayton, Allen House, Tim House, Brandon Church, Ken Schnautz, Alex Schnautz, and Flint Rasure. All but the latter two attended the competition in Florida. Faculty advisor Dr. Glen Kissel, associate professor of engineering, accompanied the team to Florida. Other faculty advisors for the team were Dr. David Schultz, associate professor of engineering, and Dr. Paul Kuban, associate professor of engineering.

USI exceeded its goal of dumping 30 kilograms of simulated moon soil, dumping a total of 37.6 kilograms at the competition.

Of 60 teams registered for the 2011 Lunabotics Mining Competition, only 46 completed the necessary reports to be allowed to bring a robot to the competition. Of those, only 36 had a robot which passed the final inspection to be allowed to compete.

Only 13 teams dumped more than the 10 kilograms minimum that the NASA competition called for. USI's was one of those teams, coming in tenth for the amount of simulated moon soil dumped.

Watch a NASA broadcast video of USI's lunabot during the 2011 Lunabotics Mining Competition. The actual competition run begins at the 18:00 mark. USI's lunabot is on the right.

USI's team received honorable mention recognition at an awards banquet on May 28 at the Apollo-Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center.

USI won third place in last year's Lunabotics Mining Competition, the first year the competition was held. Read about last year's competition.

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