The Google X PRIZE Lunar Rover Botball Design Challenge is a competition offered to participants of the Botball Robotics program. The goal announced by X PRIZE Foundation is for the first private organization land their robot on the Moon with the incentive of tens of millions of dollars as the prize. To be eligible for this contest, the rover will need to move at least 500 meters from its landing site. The lunar rover should also be cost efficient. The Google X PRIZE Lunar Rover Botball Design Challenge itself was created to encourage more students to have an interest in the STEM field, which is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Today, hundreds of students compete in their regional Botball competition and succeed to move onto the competition at the national level.
In the Design Challenge, the students' goal is to create a rover for the Moon that is not only able to withstand the harsh conditions of outer space, but to also perform designated tasks that have been preplanned by the engineers. For example, a rover that is designed to go 500 meters or beyond will earn more awards and cash prizes in comparison to one that cannot. Other goals for this challenge include designing a rover that is realistic. In order for this to be fulfilled, students must be sure to do research prior to beginning any designing. They must be knowledgeable of all topics relating to the rover from what sturdy materials the rover will be constructed from to what type of battery will last the longest with the least maintenance to what type of sensors, wheels, and camera would perform best in the given setting. All the components included in the rover must have a reason for being chosen and used, and that must be clearly explained in a website created by the students. For the entry, students submit in a website with all the requirements of the contest along with a brief description or explanation.
As a result of this competition, students will be able to practice important characteristics such as teamwork, leadership, and cooperation between their peers. These skills will have a lasting impression on students' live as it will teach life lessons through mistakes made.
For more information, please see the official website.