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Astrobotics is a design team works to create an autonomous Mars mining robot that is able to extract the icy, water-containing gravel.

Human Powered Sub testing in a pool.

What is Astrobotics?

Astrobotics is a design team that competes in the NASA Robotic Mining Competition. The NASA RMC is a design challenge for college teams based off of the current NASA mission of traveling to, and potentially inhabiting, Mars. Water is one of the most important factors for sustaining life, and it is theorized that water can be found in the form of icy gravel beneath the surface of Mars. The purpose of the RMC is for teams of college students to design and manufacture an autonomous Mars mining robot that is able to extract the aforementioned icy gravel.

Engineering students working in a chemical engineering lab.
Kiran Bagalkotkar sitting on the tailgate of a driving simulation car.
Students working on the BOLT motorcycle team.

Who can join? 

We are a senior design team for mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering. If you are a student at Virginia Tech and are interested in volunteering with team, click here.

Recent Awards

Slide Presentation and Demonstration: 3rd Place, 2017.  15th Place Overall, 2017. 9th Place Overall, 2016.

Fast Facts

Team size: About 20 members
Department Afiliation: Mechanical Engineering
Workshop: Ware Lab

Learn More