UTEP undergrads to build robot that navigates Lunar Lava Tubes

El Paso News

Courtesy of UTEP

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Several University of Texas at El Paso undergraduates are recipients of the Lunar Tube Exploration Challenge Supply Award to support navigation efforts inside lava tubes on the moon.

The team will compete in an upcoming national competition to build robots capable of navigating the natural features of the moon. They will compete in the 2021 Artemis LLTEC Grand Challenge sponsored by the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium.

Students part of the UTEP team include: Alan Melendez, Sebastian Oropeza, Jennifer Chavez, Bryan Rodriguez and Alejandro Vera.

Lava tubes are ideal locations to construct a base for future astronauts to shield them from harsh elements of space. Teams from all over the country will compete to design robots that can navigate small tubes, vertical holes and deploy technology.

Robert C. Roberts, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, mentors UTEP’s Selene Lunar Tube Research Team. The UTEP team is developing a robot that utilizes machine-vision algorithms to navigate space.

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