Montana Tech Lunabotics team wins awards at NASA Lunabotics Competition in Tuscaloosa


The Montana Tech NASA Robotic Mining Club brought home numerous awards from the NASA Lunabotics Competition at the University of Alabama last week.

The competition simulates mining on the lunar surface using robots that students design, construct, and program over the academic year.

The Orediggers mined 0.35 kg of the regolith, which means they just missed qualification for the On-site Mining award. The team mined  the third highest amount of regolith behind the first and second-place teams from Iowa State University and the University of Alabama.

Montana Tech took home a $500 award for fourth place in Autonomy. They also were awarded the Smallest Robot award, and honorable mentions in Innovation and On-Site Mining.

“I’m extremely pleased with my team and how they competed,” Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and team advisor Dr. Bryce Hill said. “They worked hard and never complained. It was a thing of beauty to see the robot in action. Next year, the competition will change, and we will work hard to meet the new challenge.”

Students who traveled to Tuscaloosa included: Dustin Marquardt, an Electrical Engineering senior; Michael Price, a Mechanical Engineering junior;  Ethan Messner, an Electrical Engineering junior; and  Garrett Pruttis, a Cybersecurity junior.

Non-traveling members of the team include Josh McAdams and Ethan Schlepp.