Indian students design mining Robot for NASA's Fourth Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition
The student team - from BSc (H) physics from Kirori Mal College and BTech Innovation (mathematics & IT) students from CIC - will be working on designing and building a robot that can perform mining on the moon's surface. While the physics students will be working on the mechanical part of the robot , the software part will be taken care of by the BTech innovation students. According to Sumitra Mohanthy, team mentor and senior faculty, department of physics, KMC, the competition is NASA's bid to retain students' interest in science and technology and to extract raw ideas from them for their further space missions . A Lunabot is a robotic mining rover that picks up lunar soil and deposits it in one place.
The team has already completed making the base of the robot and is now working on the front conveyor, which will perform the mining.
The robot named 'Lunabot' will be autonomous and manoeuvre through the moon's surface on its own As per the space organisation, the moon is capable of human settlements, for which mining of its surface is a pre-requisite . Hence, the robot will be equipped with scoops attached to conveyer belts for mining and dumping purposes The project has five elements - on-sight mining, system engineering, presentation, system outreach and team spirit