Clark School students and their Remote Harvester - Earth Analog (RH-EA1) successfully competed in a recent NASA RoboOps competition, traversing the "Rockyard" at the Johnson Space Center and collecting samples (colored rocks). The team came in third place.
Students Chris Carlsen and Steven Friedman, the "away team," replaced a broken linkage in the manipulator end effector with only 30 minutes to go to the start of the competition to allow the robot to be fully functional on the course. The rest of the team in the Kim Building's Space Systems Laboratory controled the vehicle remotely (a competition requirement), despite communications bandwidth and camera resolution challenges.
Graduate students in the Space Systems Lab hosted the fabrication process and the ground control station, and provided useful advice throughout the process. Dave Akin, professor of aerospace engineering, was team advisor.
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May 31, 2011