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NASA challenge pits moon-digging robots against each other

NASA challenge pits moon-digging robots against each other
Donald Melanson
Donald Melanson|@donmelanson|May 11, 2007 7:06 PM

Buoyed by the success of its recent astronaut glove challenge, NASA is now turning to some eager competitors to find the best robot to do the dirty work of digging regolith on the moon. According to Space.com, six teams are set to compete in the challenge this weekend, with a total of $250,000 in prize money (and more than few bragging rights) up for grabs. To take home some of that cash, the teams' robots will need to be able to collect at least 330 pounds of "mock moon dirt" in less than 30 minutes -- without any human assistance, of course. The robots themselves (one of which is seen above) must also not weigh more than 88 pounds or consume more than 30 watts of power. Unlike the glove competition, however, this one isn't a winner-take-all, with the first place finisher taking home $125,000, second place getting $75,000, and third-place snagging $50,000 -- if no one wins, the prize money gets added to next year's loot, so don't toss out those plans just yet.

[Via Gearlog]