The University of Maryland team took third place in the first NASA Robo-Ops design competition. Seven schools built robots capable of traversing the "Rock Yard" at the Johnson Space Center and collecting samples (colored rocks). Each robot had to be controlled remotely from the home university. RH-EA1 (Remote Harvester - Earth Analog) did very well on the course, collecting three samples in the allotted time.
The University of Maryland did very well throughout the competition. Chris Carlsen and Steven Friedman did incredible work as the "away team", including replacing a broken linkage in the manipulator end effector with only 30 minutes to go to the start time to allow the robot to be fully functional on the course. The rest of the team in the Kim building did one a great job controlling the vehicle remotely, despite being challenged by insufficient communications bandwidth and camera resolution. Great thanks are also due to the grad students of the Space Systems Lab, who hosted the fabrication process and the ground control station, and provided useful advice throughout the process. The team has plans to participate again next year.
NASA Robo-Ops Final Standings
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May 27, 2011