Allied Electronics & Automation is sponsoring Colorado State University’s NASA Robotic Mining Competition Team in the annual LUNABOTICS competition for the fifth straight year


The LUNABOTICS Competition is a NASA Artemis student challenge aimed at educating college students in the NASA systems development process, nurturing a high-tech workforce, and providing NASA with innovative solutions to future Artemis mission challenges. Allied offers the CSU Team with financial backing, components and access to engineering experts.

FORT COLLINS, Colorado., April 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Allied Electronics & Automation sponsors from Colorado State University (CSUs) NASA Robotic Mining Competition (RMC) team at the 2022 LUNABOTICS competition, providing the team with a financial grant and access to critical components, as well as expert advice from Allied’s highly experienced engineering team. This year marks the fifth consecutive year that Allied has supported the team’s participation in the annual LUNABOTICS competition, a NASA Artemis student challenge designed to train college students in the NASA systems engineering process and develop a workforce optimized for high-tech industries, including terrestrial and extraterrestrial mining and construction, and is providing NASA with innovative prototype solutions for the many challenges of future Artemis missions aimed at establishing the first long-term presence on the moon and using the knowledge gained there to send the first astronauts to Mars.

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The LUNABOTICS competition is a comprehensive, multi-semester, university-level engineering exercise that allows students to gain hands-on experience throughout the engineering lifecycle process, spanning concept development through system closure, and supports NASA’s Moon-Mars trajectory by providing teams at have to attend four events. The rules for the LUNABOTICS competition evolve annually to reflect new NASA mission objectives and advances in commercially available technology, but each year the participating teams use the NASA Systems Engineering process to design, construct and compete designed to mine icy regolith beneath a layer of “moon sand” in a simulated off-world mining mission. The other three events teams they participate in include conducting public outreach for underserved, underrepresented K–12 students in their communities and submitting a public outreach project report detailing their efforts, submitting a project management plan, and of a systems engineering paper and the presentation of their robot and design philosophy at the competition.

“Allied is a proud supporter of STEM education and technological innovation and is honored to have the opportunity to nurture the high-tech workforce of tomorrow by contributing to technical and professional development programs,” he said Ken Bradley, President of Allied Electronics and Automation Americas. “Sponsoring CSU’s NASA Robotic Mining Competition Team in the LUNABOTICS competition is an effective and exciting way for us to support the future leaders of high-tech industries, foster sustainable innovation, and enhance the intellectual and commercial strength of America’s electronics industry. We are very pleased to see how this year’s team is using our components and we wish them the best of luck at this year’s on-site event.”

CSUs The NASA RMC team hails from the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and has spent more than four years building and refining a robotic vehicle that is robust to withstand harsh lunar mining and performs efficient and effective autonomous operations , including locating yourself without the help of GPS, avoiding obstacles, extracting material from the lunar surface and transporting it to an official dump. Recent robotic refinements include improving the vehicle’s mechanical systems, upgrading its sensors and autonomy software, and replacing its previous snail mining system with a system of buckets on a ladder belt that scoop material from the ground and deposit it into a storage bin that looks like a works tipper.

“Our NASA project management plan took third place October 2021, which gets us a place in the on-site mining competition, which we are all very excited about. The annual LUNABOTICS competition requires a significant amount of work in addition to significant costs, so we are incredibly grateful to Allied for the continued support of our team,” he said Carissa VosSenior student and project manager for CSUs NASA Robotic Mining Competition Team. “We completed the final robot design in CAD and started manufacturing all the parts in January. In March, we will assemble our robot with the parts we make, as well as components such as hinges, hooks and rubber edges from Allied Electronics, and equip it with basic teleoperated functions by remote control April 22ndwe will deliver our systems engineering and outreach papers, presentations and demonstrations during CSUs Engineering Days (E Days) and in May we will conduct an on-site autonomy overview and robot chassis tests before the competition.”

“The on-site mining competition consists of two 15-minute runs in a simulated lunar environment with a launch zone, an obstacle region and an excavation zone with gravel buried 30 centimeters below the sand to represent icy regolith. Our plan is to maximize our points by maximizing the amount of regolith we mine in the excavation area, efficiently overcoming the arena’s obstacles, and effectively depositing our mined materials in the collection screen,” said Vos.

“The LUNABOTICS competition teaches students to apply the NASA Systems Engineering process used in many high-tech industries and challenges students to design and develop solutions to the same problems that NASA engineers are actively working on, which is what since NASA is particularly empowering uses this competition to gather and evaluate design and operational data for future robotic excavators and builders, and to find clever solutions to the many challenges that will come with future Artemis missions. But advances in mining and building outside around the world also offer new opportunities for the same activities. “So the skills that students develop by participating in the LUNABOTICS competition over a number of semesters directly contribute to their professional development and career opportunities,” said Dr. Jianguo Zhao, associate professor of mechanical engineering and technical advisor to the NASA RMC team. “Allied’s generous financial grant and donation of both components and expertise is key to providing our students with access to this unique educational and professional development opportunity, and all of us in the department and team are grateful for the continued support of Allies.”

This year’s LUNABOTICS Artemis Student Challenge Robotic Mining Competition will be held at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida, 22.–27. May. The teams will be divided into two groups, each with three days to compete against each other. The competition will culminate in two on-site mining runs and awards will be given for outstanding performance demonstrated throughout the competition. Teams compete to win the Phase I Design It Challenge, Efficient Use of Communications Power Award, Judges’ Innovation Award, six Caterpillar Autonomy Awards, three Systems Engineering Paper Awards, one Systems Engineering Leaps and Bounds Award, three Presentation and Demonstration Awards, three Outreach Project Report Awards, three Robotic On-Site Mining Awards and the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence. The prizes are awarded in the form of grants $250 to $5,000.

About Allied Electronics & Automation
We are part of Electrocomponents plc, a leading global FTSE 100 company for the omnichannel distribution of products and services for industrial equipment and operations, which also owns the brands RS Components, RS PRO, OKdo, DesignSpark, IESA, Synovos, Needlers and belong to Liscombe. With sales offices across America, a focus on digital customer experience and more than 3.5 million parts available for purchase online, engineers, designers, maintenance personnel and buyers trust Allied to offer a wide range of solutions throughout the product lifecycle. Connect with us at or via social media Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.

About CSUs Walter Scott, Jr College of Engineering
The Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering trains students to address the global environmental challenges of the day through research, education, innovation and outreach. Among the many distinctions of being an ABET-accredited institution are a high-level graduate program in atmospheric science and cutting-edge research that provides students with hands-on learning in chemistry, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and biomedical engineering. Visit to learn more.

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Media Inquiries:
Karen Gabenda
Allied Electronics & Automation
[email protected]



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