EGI Staff Helps Lead University of Utah Robotic Mining Team to 3rd Place in NASA Competition


After 15 months of planning, constructing, programming, and testing, the University of Utah’s Robotic Mining Team headed to Titusville, FL for the 2015 NASA Robotic Mining Competition in May. Formed in 2014, the University of Utah team gained entry to the competition in its first year as a recognized campus organization.

The team’s project manager and EGI Software & Web Developer John Robe helped lead the team to a third place finish in the ‘On-site Mining’ category. The win represents a terrific accomplishment for the newly formed team and raises hopes for another successful finish in 2016. The Utah Robotic Mining Project is an exciting opportunity for U of U undergraduate and graduate students to develop skills in robotics, autonomous mining, and engineering project management while simultaneously engaging the community in fostering an understanding about the role of mining and robotics in our daily lives. A Computer Engineering undergraduate at the University, John has extensive experience working on multiple projects with robotic software development.

With over 8 years of programming experience and the release of more than 20 websites and Apps for both Apple and Android devices, John’s experience has been an asset to EGI as we continually strive to enhance the delivery of science and technology in service to CA members. He currently serves as a Software & Web developer for EGI, working closely with the Informatics group and EGI Director to improve delivery of EGI products and services to CA members through web-based applications.

NASA Robotic Mining Competition

The purpose of the NASA Robotic Mining Competition is to design, build, and fund an autonomous mining robot. The competition encourages designs that would function in remote, inhospitable, or dangerous areas on earth and could also be viable to support space exploration and mining on other worlds. In addition to building the robot, teams are also expected to produce a technical report detailing all aspects of development, conduct community outreach during the year, and present their technical paper at the competition. The robot is controlled remotely from a separate location at the Competition via a wireless network.

For more information about the Utah’s Robotic Mining Project or NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition, visit the team’s website where you can view videos of the U’s robot in action at the Kennedy Space Center and learn about sponsorship opportunities.