An Interdisciplinary Senior Capstone Experience: Designing a Robotic Lunar Regolith Excavator

PI: Brock LaMeres, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Montana State University - Bozeman

The goal of this project is to provide interdisciplinary training in the area of unmanned robotic exploration through the development of a senior capstone experience in the College of Engineering at Montana State University. This project will assemble and manage a multidisciplinary student team to design and build a robotic lunar regolith excavator as part of the NASA ESMD Higher Education Project. The prototype design will be entered in the 1st annual Lunabotics Mining Competition at Kennedy Space Center on May 25-28, 2010. Our multidisciplinary team will be made up of students from five baccalaureate granting departments within the College of Engineering including Electrical Engineering (EE), Computer Engineering (CpE), Computer Science (CS), Mechanical Engineering (ME), and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET). The Montana State team will be advised by three faculty members from the College of Engineering spanning three departments (ECE, CS, and ME). The robotic design will be implemented using principles of systems engineering and will include an outreach and dissemination component. This project received funding in August of 2009 from the NASA ESMD Higher Education Project in the amount of $5,000 to cover the materials for this project. The intent of this proposal is to obtain funding for the project team to travel to the competition at Kennedy Space Center in addition to the development of formal outreach and dissemination materials. The development of outreach and dissemination materials will allow follow-on multidisciplinary capstone projects to be formed within the state of Montana to compete in subsequent Lunabotics competitions at NASA based on a sustainable financial model.


Contact Information

Mail: Brock J. LaMeres
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Montana State University - Bozeman
Bozeman, MT 59717
E-mail: Brock LaMeres
Phone: (406) 994-5987

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Updated September 19, 2014