NASA Robotics Mining Competition Team

The Scarlet Space Hawks is an official registered team participating in the annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition(R.M.C). This week long competition takes place at the NASA Kennedy Space Center at Titusville, Florida. NASA is looking for more efficient ways to excavate icy regolith, a layer of unconsolidated rocky material that is known to contain water, from beneath the martian terrain. The competition encourages the development of innovative robotic excavation concepts from student teams which may someday be implemented in a NASA ISRU mission. The objective of the competition for each team is to build, test, and design a fully functioning mining robot. The complexities of the challenge revolve around several design constraints. Major constraints include the difficulty of traversing the martian terrain, weight and size limitations, and configuring the communications/autonomy of the robot.

The Scarlet Space Hawks will be competing for the first time in the 8th annual NASA RMC. Currently the team, consisting of 25 active members, is in the initial design stage of their first mining robot. The team works under the supervision of Dr. Mahesh Krishnamurthy, an Associate Professor of the ECE department and the primary advisor for the IIT SAE Formula 1 Motorsport Team.

Within this project, there are three sub-disciplinary teams: Mechanical, Electrical, and Programming Team. As an interdisciplinary team, members have backgrounds ranging from Mechanical to Biomedical Engineering. The team aspires to promote STEM within the Illinois Tech and local community, sparking interest for prospective engineers.

To learn more about the NASA robotic mining competition, go to NASA RMC website.