Recently in the Sample Return Category


Registration is now open for teams wishing to compete in the $1.5 million energy storage competition known as the Night Rover Challenge, sponsored by NASA and managed by Cleantech Open of Palo Alto, Calif. Registration for the competition will close October 25, 2013.

"This notice is issued in accordance with 51 U.S.C. 20144(c). The 2013 Sample Return Robot Challenge is scheduled and teams that wish to compete may register. Centennial Challenges is a program of prize competitions to stimulate innovation in technologies of interest and value to NASA and the nation. The 2013 Sample Return Robot Challenge is a prize competition designed to encourage development of new technologies or application of existing technologies in unique ways to create robots that can autonomously seek out samples and return to a designated point in a set time period. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) of Worcester, Massachusetts administers the Challenge for NASA. NASA is providing the prize purse." More

Sample Return Robot Return Challenge

NASA Sample Return Robot Return Challenge at WPI Concludes

"Autonomous robots roamed across the grassy terrain at Worcester Polytechnic Institute searching for samples to collect at the 2012 Sample Return Robot Challenge in Worcester, Mass., June 14-17. The challenge: design, develop and demonstrate the next generation of robots capable of exploring the landscapes of other worlds. Eleven teams initially registered for the competition. Six teams made it to WPI for the start of the challenge. After weigh-in and inspections, one team (Space Pride -- http://www.spacepride.com) successfully met all requirements and competed in the challenge but did not win a cash prize."

Inventing the Tractor Beam

NASA Studying Ways to Make 'Tractor Beams' a Reality (with video)

"Tractor beams -- the ability to trap and move objects using laser light -- are the stuff of science fiction, but a team of NASA scientists has won funding to study the concept for remotely capturing planetary or atmospheric particles and delivering them to a robotic rover or orbiting spacecraft for analysis."

Backward Pulling Force from a Forward Propagating Beam, Chen et al

"We show explicitly that the necessary condition to realize a negative (pulling) optical force is the simultaneous excitation of multipoles in the particle and if the projection of the total photon momentum along the propagation direction is small (as in some propagation invariant beams), attractive optical force is possible. This possibility adds "pulling" as an additional degree of freedom to optical micromanipulation."

Tractor beam, Wikipedia

The Challenge Is On: Robot Prize Competition Registration Opens

"NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass., are seeking teams to compete in a robot technology demonstration competition with a potential $1.5 million prize. During the Sample Return Robot Challenge, teams will compete to demonstrate a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from a wide and varied terrain without human control. The objective of the competition is to encourage innovations in automatic navigation and robotic manipulator technologies. Innovations stemming from this challenge may improve NASA's capability to explore a variety of destinations in space, as well as enhance the nation's robotic technology for use in industries and applications on Earth."

NASA Centennial Challenges 2012 Sample Return Robot Challenge, NASA IPP