The New Hartford RoboSpartans are one of 20 global teams chosen to participate in Phase II of “MoonBots: A Google Lunar X PRIZE LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge”. The X PRIZE Foundation, Google Inc., LEGO Systems, National Instruments, and Wired’s GeekDad announced “MoonBots” at the FIRST WORLD Championships in April 2010. The new contest challenged small teams comprised of children and adults to design, program, and construct robots that perform simulated lunar missions similar to those required to win the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, a private race to the Moon designed to enable commercial exploration of space while engaging the global public. The X PRIZE Foundation and Google joined forces with three other well known technology companies to offer a competition that will stimulate learning of robotics and team building while exciting students and their families about their potential roles in the new Moon race.
Once registration opened for Phase I, almost 200 teams submitted designs illustrating how they will build, program and operate their robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS robotic kits. There was no charge to enter the contest and registration was open to teams worldwide. The competition encouraged the participants to use free software tools such as Google’s SketchUp, LEGO’s Digital Designer, National Instruments LabVIEW, and Google’s YouTube platform to delineate how their entry will be constructed and how their team will function. From these submissions, a select group of 20 teams were chosen as finalists For Phase II.
In the coming weeks, Phase II teams will receive LEGO components to construct a large Moonscape that will serve as the competition’s ‘playing field.’ The teams will construct, program and demonstrate their robots to be judged in mid-August.
The RoboSpartans are the only Phase II Moonbots team participating from New York State. The RoboSpartans Moonbots Team is: Michael Betro, Maysara Elazzazi, Zachary Goldsmith, Ryan Payne and Coaches Bob and Lisa Payne.
The team was previously a FIRST LEGO League team. They are currently registered for FIRST Tech Challenge as team #4082. To learn more about the MoonBots competition, please visit http://www.moonbots.org. For more information on the New Hartford RoboSpartans Moonbots Team, please visit http://sites.google.com/site/newhartfordrobospartans/moonbots.
The top 20 teams moving into Phase II are:
ARES – Texas, US
Coastal Quarks- California, US
Cougar LEGO Robotics Team - Ohio, US
Crandroids- Michigan, US
G.I.R.L.S.- Missouri, US
got robot?- Illinois, US
Intergalactic Bacon- Florida, US
Just Ducky- Minnesota, US
Landroids- New Jersey, US
LegoAces- Ohio, US
Lunar Horizon- California, US
Milkyway Monsters- Massachusetts, US
Moonwalk- New Jersey/Connecticut, US
New Hartford RoboSpartans- New York, US
OABB 4-H Lego Robots- California, US
Pushing Frontiers- South Africa/Belgium
Team Tater Tot- Minnesota, US
The Shadowed Craters- California, US
WEBstormers- South Africa
Yellow Jackets- Michigan, US