Engineering Students Reach for the Sky in NASA Sponsored Robotics Competition
October 28, 2005
Five engineering students from the University of Saskatchewan (Edwin Zhang, Devon Loehr, Remko van den Hurk, Clayton Ruszkowski and Jeff Nattress) have returned from Mountain View, California where they competed in a NASA sponsored robotics competition www.elevator2010.org/site/index.html.
NASA was looking for outside innovations in an attempt to develop and build futuristic concepts such as space elevators and solar-powered satellites. The students had a chance to win a $50,000 prize in the Beam Power Challenge. Seven teams vied for the $50,000 first prize, five from across the U.S. and two from Canada. In the challenge, they had to design a robotic climber, a Mars roverlike machine that has to be capable of lifting the heaviest weight possible to the top of a 50-metre cable in less than three minutes. The team, led by Zhang, had the best-performing robotic climber, reaching the highest altitude under beamed power, about one third of the required distance for the prize money. At that point, their 10.7-square-foot array of space-grade solar cells yielded insufficient energy to continue. The teamís feat was featured in a story on the much visited space.com
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