------ IMPORTANT UPDATE ------
2020/2021 academic year update: Interested in working on robots in space? We just submitted our project to NASA, but we will still be building awesome astrorobotic projects this year. There are two projects now: The first project will be working on research with lunar rovers, and the second project will be working on the NASA Robotic Mining Competition (https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/000_rmc_lunabotics_rules_rubrics_2021.pdf).
Join the CSI Slack and check out the #space-robotics-research and the #space-robotics-nasamining channels for more information.
NASA is hosting the second phase of its Space Robotics Challenge (SRC). While Phase 1 focused on NASA’s humanoid R5 in a virtual Martian environment, the second phase (independent of Phase 1) seeks to advance the capabilities of autonomous lunar surface robots. To successfully complete the qualification round (= place among the top 25), teams will have to develop software so that NASA's robots can complete a set of tasks autonomously and efficiently on the lunar surface. The final competition round will require to develop software for multiple lunar robots which are organized in teams. Everything happens in simulation: NASA provides Gazebo worlds and robot models, and we will develop the robots' software.
To say it with NASA’s words:
“The focus of SRC Phase 2 is on the ability of virtual robotic systems to perform a long-term fully-autonomous ISRU mission for the Moon. This challenge will require competitors to develop software that allows a team of virtual robots (i.e., virtual robotic team) to operate fully autonomously for a specified length of time. The Competition Rounds will be carried out in a robotic simulation format, using Open Robotics Gazebo and Robot Operating System (ROS) platforms.”
(Source: https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/space-robotics-challenge-phase-2/. Accessed on Oct 20th 10:24pm.)
If you would like to know more about this challenge, check out the challenge website: http://www.spaceroboticschallenge.com.
Be sure to also check out this informational webinar administered by NASA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3YgAVom2sY
Pass the qualification round
Successfully compete in the final round
Robotics (ROS, Gazebo)
Autonomous Driving, Path Planning
Experience in Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Analysis/Optimization of Algorithms is also relevant
Majors: Computer Science, Data Science, (Applied) Mathematics