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 Lunabotics Challenge. 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) in NYU, 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 in the engineering subfields.
NASA Lunabotics Challenge is built off of the NASA's Artemis Student Program. 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. This would be achieved through utilizing resources of the outer space environment, including its water and metal deposits for future human settlements, the refinement of rocket fuel in space, radio astronomy, and more. The project supports important scientific goal of extending the nation's geo-strategic and economic sphere to explore outer planets. Teams are expected to complete design and development of mining robot from starts to finish by brining individual's unique knowledge in the engineering disciplines of system, mechanical, electrical, software engineering, and project management.
RDT has continuously aimed to engineer innovative robots, for 13 years strong, improving upon previous endeavors for advancements in the Artemis Program. The team has rnaked 2nd to 26th place within the United States, winning multiple awards. We believe that our findings due to our involvement in this competition will drive technological innovation by utilizing current scientific capabilities. In the 2020-2021 competition, the team has won several outstanding recognitions 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 Guidebook when designing, building, and testing its system to ensure that the solution correctly 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 successfully deliver outcomes.
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, most of 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.
In collaboration with The Center of K12 STEM Education, RDT has been able to host multiple engineering workshops for local students who don't have these opportunities at their schools. Some of the topics we were able to teach were C++, Arduino, and CAD. With K12 STEM Education, we were able to host these workshops to 200+ students across the city and even outside of the city in New Jersey and Connecticut.
We also had the opportunity to teach young students in person this year. Collaborating with WestLake Steam Symposium, we were able to hold two sessions and teach young students about Arduino. One session was mostly younger Middle School students while the second had Highschool students. Both had never worked with Arduino before and were excited to learn how to wire and code with Arduino.
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.