Who We Are
The New York University Tandon School of Engineering Robotic Design Team (NYU RDT) is the future of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Artemis Program fostered through their annual Robotic Mining Competition (RMC). A team composed of 75 members, of which 65 are undergraduates and 10 are graduates, spanning across 10 majors are challenged to develop an autonomous mining and excavation rover to collect and transport simulated extraterrestrial icy regolith. As part of the Vertically Integrated Program (VIP), RDT provides a long term project-based learning course in which members participate in our multidisciplinary team for academic credit. Through this course, members are educated on the NASA Systems Engineering Process, industry standards, and the project management workflow.
RMC is built off of NASA’s Artemis Student Challenge. The challenge is founded on the hypothesis that raw materials on extraterrestrial bodies, like the Moon and Mars, would make for scientific and economic advancements; efficiently utilizing resources of the Moon, including its water and metal deposits for future human settlements, the refinement of rocket fuel in space, radio astronomy, and most importantly extending the nation's geo-strategic and economic sphere to encompass the Moon.
For 13 years strong, being ranked 26th to 2nd place within the United States, winning multiple recognized awards, RDT has continuously aimed to create innovative robots, each year improving on what has been constructed for the advancement of the Artemis Program. We believe that our findings due to our involvement in this competition will drive technological innovation by utilizing current scientific capabilities. This past project cycle, We were able to outstand in the 2020-2021 competition, winning multiple rewards including 1st Place Presentation and Demonstration, 3rd Place Outreach Project Report, and the Judge's Innovation Award!
To effectively and efficiently complete our project lifecycle, NYU RDT utilizes the NASA Systems Engineering process when designing, building and testing its system to ensure that its solution effectively addresses the competition requirements and stakeholder’s expectations. Throughout the project lifecycle, RDT references the Systems Engineering V-diagram, an iterative graphical representation of a systems development lifecycle, to produce rigorous development lifecycle models and project management models. RDT’s final system and its respective subsystems are thoroughly reviewed according to the Systems Engineering Process to minimize and mitigate possible points of failure and risks.
In addition to the competitive aspect of the team, RDT is immensely dedicated to the propagation of STEM within all communities. Because of COVID last year, our outreach programs all switched into online versions. But the pandemic didn't stop our dedication to support our community. We partnered with TechGirlz and hosted Computer Science Workshops for local high-school girls, trying to introduce them into the STEM field.
The team also consistently promotes STEM to young females in the Girls Club by advocating as mentors for their NASA Space Apps Challenge Program. Each year many female members of the team would spend the weekend with them and inspire many to pursue engineering. For the 2020 challenge, the event was competed over zoom but the year before we were able to attend in person and a photo from the event is shown below!
The team also actively volunteers with Mouse in their various STEM events each year. The captain, Angy Lara, was part of the program in her youth and was extremely excited to give back to the community that inspired her to pursue engineering. Many of the children there would become intrigued in STEM and engineering after the events just like Angy did as a child. The photo below highlights the Robot Election event in 2019 at the Mouse Headquarters.
The Robotic Design Team wants to raise $5000 to help fund its various planned outreach projects alongside general funding for the robot for the upcoming academic year. Our goal is not only for victory at the Mining Competition but as well as to amplify our community outreach. RDT aims to succeed in all aspects which includes bringing more attention to the STEM fields to students who may otherwise not be presented the opportunity to explore it.