WPI Sample Return Rover Team selects Oryx 2.0

We are very excited that a group of WPI graduate students have selected Oryx 2.0 as their mobility platform for the 2013 NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge!  Check out what they are up to at http://robot.wpi.edu/rover.


Oryx at NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge

Oryx did not officially participate in the NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge but was asked to share the stage with NASA’s Deputy Administrator (Lori Garver) and Chief Technologist (Mason Peck).  Oryx was also given an opportunity to search for the pre-cached sample through teleoperated after the competition was over and did very well!

Thanks to WPI Marketing and Communications for these pictures from the event!  There are many more that can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/wpimarketing/

WPI’s BattleCry Demonstration

May 18 and 19 was the BattleCry event, a postseason FIRST competition hosted by WPI that attracted 48 FRC teams from around the area. We used this opportunity to do full-scale testing to demonstrate our rover’s capability and also let high school students drive ORYX 2.0. We had a great time teaching people about our rover. Below is a picture of Team 1124, the Uberbots, collecting rocks through the X-box joystick controls.

RASC-AL Robo-Ops Competition Video

With the NASA/NIA RASC-AL Exploration Robo-Ops competition coming up next month we put together a video to summarize the design, development, and testing process of ORYX 2.0 our new rover for this tele-operated sample return mission at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. In addition to providing an overview of ORYX 2.0 this video also discusses the importance of robotic space exploration and the potential discoveries and economic resources that are in space.

We hope you will watch us in the competition, as it will be streamed live on May 31 and June 1!

IEEE TePRA Conference

We spent the last several days representing Oryx 2.0 at IEEE’s Technologies for Practical Robot Applications (TePRA) conference.  We presented a poster and had the robot with us at the conference.  There were alot of people very interested in it.  We also were able to see alot of potential applications that Oryx 2.0 could be used for besides space exploration.  Oryx 2.0 has been doing a lot of traveling to get ready for his big trip to the Johnson Space Center in about 1 month from now.

Boston Museum of Science

Did you know that last week was National Robotics Week?  Every year the Boston Museum of Science celebrates National Robotics Week by inviting New England universities and robotics companies to show off their robots at the Robot Block Party.  ORYX 2.0 was WPI’s main attraction at the museum this year.  Not only did we get to talk to a lot of kids and their parents about how we built our rover, we also had an unplanned demo in the museum.  After noticing the strength of the 4G signal we decided to put the rover on the ground and let Joe (who was in Worcester) drive around the museum.  Here are a few pictures that highlight how much fun we had demonstrating our rover at the museum!