Saturday, May 27, 2017

NASA robotic Mining Competition

The MSU team this year did really well despite having their robot start smoking during a practice run and their first official run being an accidental disaster.   They stayed up really late after the smoking run and re-wired things. Then the next day for their official run they had problems booting up the system. With 7 minuets left, it completed the boot up and in their excitement and haste to get the program running, the driver accidentally issued a shut down command. And... so that was it for that run.  The people funding them had told them if they didn't qualify this year (mining at least 10 kg of the mars dirt/sand stuff) they wouldn't be funded for next year. So the pressure was on to make their final official run a good one. They practiced the set up many many times to make sure they had the flow just right and figured out how to minimize the boot up time.  Chris had been updating us (both the Betteridge and the Archibald families) through our Slack app throughout the whole week. So when it was time for his final run, many of us were watching the live stream and cheering him and his team on across the country. It was so fun to read the comments from our family members as they came in live during the run. Technology is amazing! They ended up having a GREAT run and mined more than 20 kg!  They came in 9th place out of over 40 teams. Pretty cool.

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