NASA, along with the National Institute of Aerospace, is pleased to announce
the 2012 Student Rover Design Competition:
Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASCAL) Exploration Robo-Ops.
Congratulations to the Winners of our 2012 RASC-AL Exploration Robo-Ops Competition:
1st Place - Worcester Polytechnic Institute
2nd Place - California Institute of Technology
3rd Place - University of Maryland
Challenge Overview and Objective
In this exciting competition, university teams are challenged to design and build a planetary rover and demonstrate its capability to perform a series of competitive tasks at the NASA Johnson Space Center's Rock Yard in Houston, TX in May 2012.
University teams at both the graduate and undergraduate levels are eligible to compete, and each team includes a faculty advisor. Teams must submit a Project Plan Proposal, via electronic upload, by the December 9, 2011 deadline. The RASC-AL Robo-Ops Steering Committee will review each team's abstract and announce the qualifying teams by December 19, 2011.
Up to 8 Qualifying Teams will be selected to receive a stipend to purchase materials and travel to the 2012 RASC-AL Robo-Ops Forum in Houston, where they will test the rovers in a planetary analog environment on Earth under the supervision of NASA judges. Two members of the team (plus the faculty advisor) will travel to JSC for the on-site testing. The remaining team members will stay behind at the local university to conduct tele-operating tasks. The prototype rovers will be tele-operated by the university team and must negotiate a series of obstacles while accomplishing relevant tasks in the quickest time. Cameras will allow the transmission of the competition back to the home universities and to the general public.
In cooperation with NASA's interest to engage the public in its research, the RASC-AL Exploration Robo-Ops competition has added a unique component to the challenge. Teams will be required to do an education and outreach activity for their rover that demonstrates participatory exploration approaches for future NASA missions. This includes Internet-based social media sites and other creative outreach approaches.
Teams participating in the competition will be required to submit a written final report, build an actual rover, and demonstrate the rover's capabilities during the 2012 RASC-AL Robo-Ops Forum. Scoring is based on the ability to perform the tasks, adherence to requirements, time, and the inclusion of an Education and Public Outreach activity.
Winning teams will receive prices, to include cash and/or travel to the annual NASA Desert RATS analog test site in Arizona.