Build, programme a robot that performs missions on model lunar surface

On Friday evening, three school students from Coimbatore and their team leader demonstrated live to global judges how a robot can do several tasks on the lunar surface.

S. Sadhana (class XI), S. Athmika (class IX), R. Vishrutha (class X) and their robotics coach C. Santhakumar from Coimbatore form the team MoonRiders. They are one among the three teams selected from the country for the second and final phase of a global competition launched jointly by Google Lunar X Prize and Lego Mindstorms – MoonBots.

Assuming that there is a permanent settlement on the south pole of the moon, the team has designed and developed a lunar surface with craters, etc.

Working for one-and-a-half months, the team also built and programmed a robot (Lego Mindstorms robot) to carry out seven missions. The contest organisers had provided the required materials for the robot. The robot roves over the lunar landscape and the missions that it carries out included transporting ice from a crater, transporting helium 3, replacing solar panels, moving on a challenging terrain, and carrying debris.

On Friday morning, MoonRiders demonstrated their project at PSG Sarvajana Higher Secondary School here.

The contest had 147 registered participants from 22 countries. Of these, 30 were selected for the finals.

The team members share a passion for robotics and science.

In the first phase, the team made a video presentation on lunar exploration and wrote two essays.

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