The NASA Centennial Challenges prize, level one, is presented to team Mountaineers for successfully completing level one of the NASA 2014 Sample Return Robot Challenge, from left, Ryan Watson, Team Mountaineers; Lucas Behrens, Team Mountaineers; Jarred Strader, Team Mountaineers; Yu Gu, Team Mountaineers; Scott Harper, Team Mountaineers; Dorothy Rasco, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate; Laurie Leshin, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) President; David Miller, NASA Chief Technologist; Alexander Hypes, Team Mountaineers; Nick Ohi,Team Mountaineers; Marvin Cheng, Team Mountaineers; Sam Ortega, NASA Program Manager for Centennial Challenges; and Tanmay Mandal, Team Mountaineers;, Saturday, June 14, 2014, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass.
Team Mountaineers was the only team to complete the level one challenge. During the competition, teams were required to demonstrate autonomous robots that can locate and collect samples from a wide and varied terrain, operating without human control. The objective of this NASA-WPI Centennial Challenge was to encourage innovations in autonomous navigation and robotics technologies. Innovations stemming from the challenge may improve NASA's capability to explore a variety of destinations in space, as well as enhance the nation's robotic technology for use in industries and applications on Earth. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)