The Google Lunar XPRIZE Announces Winners of the 2014 MoonBots Challenge
August 28, 2014
The Google Lunar XPRIZE announced today the winners of the 2014 MoonBots: A Google Lunar XPRIZE LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge. The competition, which aims to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, challenges teams of students ages 9 to 17 to design, program and build robots that simulate lunar missions mirroring the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, an international competition for privately funded teams to build a rover to land on and explore the Moon’s surface.
The Grand Prize Winner and Runner-Ups are:
• Grand Prize Winner: Team Incredibots (Columbus, Ohio)
• First Runner-Up: Team Dalton BRobots (Barcelona, Spain)
• Second Runner-Up: Team Dutch Delta (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
• Third Runner-Up: Team Starling (Balwin, Mo.)
• Third Runner-Up: Team Electric Dreams (Erie, Pa.)
For the full list of finalists, visit http://moonbots.org/teams.
The Grand Prize Winner will receive a trip to the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) at the University of Hawaii at Hilo to test out their robot on the slopes of the Mauna Kea volcano.
All runner-up teams will receive free team registration for the 2014-2015 FIRST® robotics season, and all winning teams will receive a MATRIX Base Set, a 3DR Rover from 3D Robotics and GoPro Hero 3+ cameras. Please note, because the talent pool was so strong, we decided to split the Third Runner-Up position between two deserving teams that received equal scores.
This year’s MoonBots Challenge, which began in March 2014, attracted a record number of entries with over 300 teams from 24 different countries. Teams were initially asked to submit a video answering the question, “Why should we go back to the Moon for good?” From there, a panel of judges selected 25 finalists, who were tasked with building and programming a LEGO MINDSTORMS robot, as well as their own lunar landscape for their vehicle to explore.
“The Google Lunar XPRIZE team is truly proud of how the MoonBots competition continues to grow and spread the awareness of lunar exploration thanks to the teams from all over the world who have shared their experience and knowledge througout their communities,” says Chanda Gonzales, senior director, Google Lunar XPRIZE. “The finalists have showed that they have a very strong grasp on how to use STEM disciplines in a creative and innovative way, and their ingenuity offers great promise for space exploration in the future. We can only start to wonder where these young people will go next!”
A big thank you goes out to all of the very talented and creative teams, as well as all of our supporters. This year’s competition could not have been possible without the help of our many partners, including FIRST®, GEEK DAD, PISCES, Rotacaster, HiTechnic, MATRIX Robotics and 3D Robotics.
For more information on the 2014 MoonBots Challenge, visit http://moonbots.org.
About the Google Lunar XPRIZE
The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth. For more information, visit http://www.googlelunarxprize.org.
Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prizes in five areas: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $2.25M Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE and the $2M Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.