PALMDALE – One of The Palmdale Aerospace Academy’s robotics teams, TorchBots, is participating in the MoonBots competition hosted by Google Lunar XPRIZE.
The MoonBots competition is divided into two phases. The first phase has teams create a three-minute video or write an essay around the theme of “What inspires me about the moon”; and the story can be based on fact or fiction.
TorchBots team members, Ariel Ochoa-Azcunaga, Yuritzie Mejia, and Lory Kourzessoian, chose to use the Greek mythological story of Selene, the moon goddess.
TorchBots was one of 30 teams chosen from approximately 300 teams worldwide to move forward to the second phase of the competition.
The second phase requires teams to create a scale rendering of a lunar landscape based on their story, build this lunar landscape to full size (6ft x 6ft), design a game that takes place on this lunar landscape, and build a robot to play this game.
TorchBots team advisor, Courtney “Cam” Marietta applauded the students. “They all worked so very hard to accomplish the first phase of the competition and to be selected as one of the 30 teams moving forward is very exciting,” Marietta said.
As an added piece to this year’s competition, teams were given four additional VEX robotics kits that had to be donated to an independent organization for use in a robotics program. TorchBots decided to donate their kits to the Antelope Valley Boys and Girls Club.
Teams are also included in a live video chat session with the competition judges to show their robot playing the game.
Three teams will be selected as grand prize winners and given a trip to Japan to meet with the scientists working on the actual Lunar XPRIZE programs.
To find out more about the Lunar XPRIZE competition and to see who the final winner is visit www.moonbots.org.