Project-based Learning

A student team from WPI has advanced to the final rounds of the 2024 NASA Lunabotics Challenge Thursday and Friday at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. 

The major qualifying project (MQP) team placed in the top 10 among 43 teams in earlier rounds of the competition this week, qualifying the team and its scratch-built robot for the final rounds. 

The final rounds will be streamed live here.  

Lunabotics is an annual intercollegiate competition that gives teams the opportunity to design and build a robot capable of performing missions on a simulated lunar surface in support of NASA’s Artemis program. 

This year’s challenge was to build a robot that can traverse an obstacle-ridden area to excavate simulated lunar regolith—the fine layer of debris that covers the moon–and deposit it in a designated construction zone. 

The MQP team built its competition robot with a focus on mass and energy optimization and maneuverability. The team won the Robotics Engineering Department Award at WPI earlier this month. 

Members of the team competing in Florida include: Kelli Huang (mechanical engineering), Giovanni Giacalone (robotics engineering), Ian MacInerney (robotics engineering/mechanical engineering), Terence Tan (mechanical engineering), Zeb Carty (mechanical engineering), James Nguyen (mechanical engineering), Sean Thal (mechanical engineering), and Brendan Byrne (robotics engineering/computer science). Longtime Lunabotics advisor Ken Stafford also traveled with the team.