NASA's RMC: Lunabotics 2020

Help us bring the College of Engineering to a NASA Competition!

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    pledged of $4,000

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This project received pledges on Fri 20 Dec 2019

A short summary of our project

We’re raising $4,000 to take our growing team and robots to the NASA Lunabotics robotics competition at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Our project budget is extensive, and we need your help to achieve our goals. We have high aspirations for success. Help us give our team the learning experience of a lifetime.

Who are we?

The SDSU Robotics Club started out as a senior design project group and morphed into a hobbyist club for a bunch of college students who loved robotics. Over the past two years, the club has grown to be a nationally competitive team. The club received national recognition by winning the Land O’Lakes Bot Shot competition. After going to go toe to toe with some of the top engineering universities in the country, we knew we were ready for a bigger challenge. This year we’re shooting for the moon, and we’re getting ready for the NASA Lunabotics competition! We are a group of nearly 60 students, split into four specialized teams working together to design and build a robot to mine ice on the moon!

Our story

This year we’re starting a new chapter in our robotics club story: aiming for the moon! We chose the NASA Lunabotics Competition last year and have been planning and working for months. This project is a major challenge for us, and we are ready to rise to the occasion. Your donation means that we can continue to work on large scale projects. The difference between working on hobby bots and national competition bots is extensive. The level of engineering required to compete at this level gives a better learning experience for our students.

Our team of 60 is split into four specialized teams for a divide-and-conquer method:


Made up of about 15 members, this team is responsible for how our robot moves throughout the field. This year’s big innovation—two robots working in tandem! This will give us a leg up at competition, where we will have more time excavating.


Sitting atop the chassis, the excavation team is figuring out the best way to remove a large amount of moon dust and ice in a very short period. A large portion of this subassembly will be designed, 3D printed, and tested in-house.


Hauling a mix of moon dust and ice would be highly inefficient. The Processing team filters out the unwanted moon dust leaving only the ice to be transported back to the collection sieve. The Processing team also handles the storage and deposition of the ice.


This team handles the decision-making for the robots. The Navigation team is developing systems to tell the robot where it’s at, what it needs to avoid, and how to get there. The robot will make decisions on its own and the Navigation team is equipping it with the software to succeed.

More than just the teams, this competition also requires that we prepare a design report to present in front of judges as well as faculty and staff from our own college. This means we must be able to defend our design decisions, prepare a well-documented presentation, and answer any and all questions that come our way.

The final part of the pre-competition fun is outreach. Our team will be traveling to K-12 schools throughout the Midwest to inspire kids to be excited about robotics, space, and STEM.

We’ve still got a long way to go, so help us get where we need to be! If we’re able to get the funding we need, we’ll be able to travel (team and robots) for a competition experience that’s out of this world!

Find us on social media! 

Facebook: SDSU Robotics​

Twitter: @sdsurobotics

Instagram: @sdstaterobotics​

Snapchat: sdrobotics2009​

We’ll be posting regular updates of how the robot and team is doing, and you following us and sharing our story helps us out!

Help us succeed!

Whatever your ability to help send us to competition, help spread the word! The more people know about what we’re doing, the more people can help us out! Midwesterners embody the “it takes a village” mindset, and our team is no exception. Join our community and help us continue to aim for the stars!

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Nuts and Bolts: Small but very important pieces in the grand scheme of things! Your donation helps us fit everything together!

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3D Printer Filament: A big part of our robot is going to be 3D printed after being designed by our team! Help us print and test our parts in house!

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Wheel: Having two robots means we’re going to need 8 wheels, not counting any replacements we may need. Push our robot to success by allowing us to move around!

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Motors: The movement behind every part is due to motors and donors like you! Your donation allows a wheel, a belt, a sensor, or an arm move as it’s supposed to!

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Linear Actuator: Linear actuators are going to be used by multiple teams to expand the parts we need past our starting limits. Your donation allows us to expand to new challenges as we learn and grow!

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Battery: Like the powerhouse of the robot, you are the powerhouse behind the team! Your donation helps us get power to the robot. Without it, all our hard work is for naught.

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Sensor: Sensors tell our robot where it’s located, where the obstacles are, and what direction it’s facing. Tell our team that we’re heading in the direction of success!

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Computer: The brains behind the operation! Each robot will have its own computer to process information and make decisions. Help us build some smart robots!

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