Kent State Robotics Team successfully hosts first annual NASA practice competition

Rick Szalay (left) and Sage Edwards (right) assemble the track for their robot before the practice robotics competition on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. Teams from Virginia Tech, Akron University and Iowa State gathered in the Schwart’s Center at Kent State to practice for their robotics competition in May.

The Kent State Robotics Team hosted its first ever robotic mining practice competition on Saturday, Feb. 6. The practice took place in the old glass lab located in the Michael Schwartz Center.

The University of Akron, Virginia Tech and Iowa State University all attended the competition to test out their robots in preparation for this year’s annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition that will take place at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in May. Case Western Reserve University registered for the event but did not attend due to complications.

The teams competed in the 12-by-23 foot arena pit constructed by the KSU team, with some help from construction management students. Within the pit was 20 tons of gravel, 10 tons of feldspar and obstacles such as small boulders.  

The practice was judged by representatives from the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

Virginia Tech took first place in the practice competition Iowa State took second place and Kent State took third.

Although the competition was judged, it was regarded by the teams as more of a design review session where members had a chance to peer review others’ robots and designs in order to improve them for the competition.