The following companies are working together to promote the MoonBots: A Google Lunar X PRIZE LEGO MINDSTORMS Challenge. These companies have joined forces to help promote and host a competition that will stimulate learning of robotics and team building while exciting students and their families about the new Moon race.
GOOGLE LUNAR X PRIZE
Generously funded by Google, the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a privately-funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters (1/3 of a mile) and transmits high definition video and images back to Earth. The first team to do so will claim a $20 million Grand Prize, while the second team will earn a $5 million Prize. Teams are also eligible to win a $1 million award for stimulating diversity in the field of space exploration and as much as $4 million in bonus prizes for accomplishing additional technical tasks such as moving ten times as far, surviving the frigid lunar night, or visiting the site of a previous lunar mission. To date, more than 20 teams from a dozen countries around the world have registered to compete for the prize. The Google Lunar X PRIZE is available to be claimed until the end of the year 2015. Website: http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/
The LEGO Group
The LEGO Group is a privately held, family-owned company based in Billund, Denmark. It was founded in 1932, and today, the group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of play materials for children, employing approximately 5,600 people globally. The LEGO Group is committed to the development of children’s creative and imaginative abilities. LEGO products can be purchased in more than 130 countries.
In 1998, The LEGO Group spearheaded the consumer robotics category the company with the launch of the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Robotics Invention System, that introduced children to the world of robotics, and offering the ability to create their own intelligent, interactive, autonomous LEGO robots. The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robotics toolkits allow children of all ages to design, build, and program their own robots using LEGO building elements, customized hardware, and an easy-to-use icon-based graphical programming language.
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GeekDad & GeekMom
The Wired generation has grown up, mated and bred. But even as they raise Geek Generation 2.0, today's geeky parents still enjoy the good things in life. Like fragging noobs in COD and building auto-turret NERF miniguns. Companion sites GeekDad and GeekMom help nurture the nerd family with news, reviews and interviews from both sides of the chromosomes.
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Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and close to $15 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL™) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism™ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.
NASA's Third Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition is a university-level competition designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). NASA will directly benefit from the competition by encouraging the development of innovative lunar excavation concepts from universities which may result in clever ideas and solutions which could be applied to an actual lunar excavation device or payload. The challenge is for students to design and build an excavator, called a Lunabot, that can mine and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms of lunar simulant within 10 minutes. The complexities of the challenge include the abrasive characteristics of the BP-1, the weight and size limitations of the Lunabot, and the ability to telerobotically or autonomously control the Lunabot from a remote mission control center. This year the scoring for the mining category will not be based primarily on the amount of material excavated in the allowed time but instead will require teams to consider a number of design and operation factors such as dust tolerance and projection, communications, vehicle mass, energy/power required, and level of autonomy. Over 50 teams from all over the world are registered to compete this year for the coveted grand prize, the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence.
Dexter Industries develops robotic sensors for LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT that are easy to use, fun, and have real-life applications for scientists and engineers . . . and those aspiring to be. Our mission is to support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education and inspire future scientists and engineers, with a primary focus on educational robotics that are easy to use, fun, and have real-life applications for young scientists and engineers. http://dexterindustries.com/
Cleantech Open finds, funds, and fosters the big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental, and economic challenges. The Night Rover Challenge, a project of the Cleanteach Open, encourages entrepreneurs to develop new energy storage technology, and inspires youth to become engaged, self-driven learners with a keen interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The Night Rover Challenge is managed by Cleantech Open in partnership with Younoodle. Find out more at: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/sep/HQ_11-318_Night_Rover_Challenge...
PISCES facilitates analog field testing and coordinates space related research on Hawai`i Island and engages the local (statewide) communities, the educational communities (K-12 and higher ed) and industry (Mauna Kea Observatories) with a blend of education, outreach, media relations. Founded in 2007, PISCES has developed a success operational model incorporating cultural, scientific and educational components bringing benefits to all. For more information go to http://pisces.uhh.hawaii.edu/
NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI)
The NASA Lunar Science Institute supplements and extends existing NASA lunar science programs. Supported by the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), the NLSI is managed by the NASA Ames Research Center with dispersed teams across the nation working together to help lead the agency's research activities related to NASA's lunar exploration goals. Competitively selected team investigations focus on one or more aspects of lunar science — investigations of the Moon (including lunar samples), from the Moon, and/or on the Moon. For more information, go to: http://lunarscience.nasa.gov/
International Observe the Moon Night
The International Observe the Moon Night Team consists of scientists, educators, and Moon enthusiasts from government, non-profit organizations, and businesses throughout the United States and across the globe. We believe in the inspirational power of the Moon — a celestial body that has influenced human lives since the dawn of time. International Observe the Moon Night has created the opportunity for people to take notice of the Moon’s beauty and share that experience with one another. Through International Observe the Moon Night, we hope to instill in the public a sense of wonderment and curiosity about our Moon. Our partnerships enable us to stay up to date with the latest and greatest scientific discoveries about Earth’s nearest neighbor, and we strive to bring those discoveries to the public. For more information go to: http://observethemoonnight.org/