Follow our team as we compete in MoonBots 2012! We are Asa, Kyle, and Matt (Captain). Email: matt@mattjensen.com
Our rover, "Inspiration", is designed to move over a sandy, rocky, lunar landscape. It navigates with binaural ultrasound, and can also be remotely controlled with a joystick.

UPDATE: We had a great webcast on 2012-11-11 at the Museum of Flight! Video to be posted soon.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Successful Webcast!

We had a great webcast at the Museum of Flight yesterday. We'll post a version recorded from other cameras later this week, as well as all our robot and mission monitoring programs.

From the West Seattle Herald

How We Did:
We knew a month or two ago that we would never win the final round on actual game points :-)  Our approach, using a realistic landscape (sandy, rocky, irregular) turned out to be even harder than we thought it would be, and we had to focus on doing just a few things (traverse  ridge, pick up one item, try to get it home).  But we were just happy to "push the envelope" and try something that's never been tried before in MoonBots.  We've learned so much (about traction, torque, balance, effects of dust, etc.), we now consider ourselves the world's leading authorities on Mindstorms rovers for harsh, extraterrestrial environments :-)

How Inspiration Did:
Well, Inspiration had some stage fright, showing many more glitches than in the previous few days. The sensor arms failed to pop out several times, and we ended up hitting the wall more than usual. But it didn't do anything terrible, and we were able to demonstrate our ultrasonic steering, though not our complete, end-to-end mission as planned.

What the Crowd Thought:
We had a large, enthusiastic crowd at the Museum. We talked about MoonBots and GLXP to a lot of kids and adults, and we had at least thirty people drive Inspiration by joystick at the end, before we had to pack up.  Even though the realistic landscape made things much harder for us, the crowd really, really liked the landscape. We think it really made the demonstration a simulation for them, something above a typical robot display.  We've had two teachers ask us to demo at their schools, too!

Upcoming Video:
We're going to put together a video explaining all the technical challenges we ran into, what we tried, and how we ended up with our final design. Believe us, every beam and peg of Inspiration is there for a reason. Each part is a winner in a competition of mini-designs for each feature or function.

Hey, the West Seattle Herald had a nice story about our webcast, with a video interview.  Thanks!

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