York Competes in NASA Robotic Mining Competition

Professor Daniel Phelps (Communications Technology) and a group of York students across the disciplines are currently competing in the NASA Robotic Mining Competition at the NASA Kennedy Space Center.

They “do more testing today,” and the competition starts tomorrow and goes through Thursday.

“It’s one of the most intense NASA engineering competitions in the nation for Higher Education,” said Professor Phelps. “We are one of 48 teams ranging from Ivy League to Mining and Engineering colleges.”

More info about this year’s competition can be found here:



You can also learn more at www.YorkAstrobotics.com and follow the event there as it will broadcast live photos and video of the competition. According to Phelps, the bot this year was built by “the collaborative team of Physics Majors, Computer Science, and Communications Technology. It’s dubbed the #YorkbotMkIII.” There will also be a live stream that he will post to YorkTalk tomorrow morning (Thursday); so for those who are on that list, keep an eye out for it. He will send out details when they are in the competition areas.

Brief Abstract:

In the spring of 2015, York College embarked on two separate NASA-funded robotic initiatives, the Robotic Mining Competition and the NASA Swarmathon Competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. As the recipient of two NASA-funded grants, an interdisciplinary team of students and staff go head-to-head against the best engineering institutions in the country. Exploring and pushing the boundaries of robotic mining technology and programming destined for Lunar and Martian soils. Designs derived from research in this program will be assimilated and incorporated into future mining platforms key to the future colonization of the Moon and Mars.

According to Phelps, placing 35th out of an initial group of 150, this presentation will explore the design, creation, and application of the York Astrobotics Program. Using photos, video, and hands-on demos of the technology employed, this presentation will discover how an interdisciplinary non-engineering team from Queens was able to compete with some of the best student engineers in the nation.

Biographic sketch of Daniel Phelps:

Daniel Phelps is an integrated media artist and filmmaker in New York City. His work consists of various forms of non-fiction media specializing in the use of hi-technology for digital storytelling. Growing up in California, Daniel worked as a Videographer, Editor, and Chief of Production for various magazine shows and production companies throughout Northern California and Los Angeles. His linear work has been seen on NBC Sports, The Tennis Channel, and cable networks across the country. More recently, his feature-length documentary, The Domino Effect, advocates for fair housing and informed urban planning in New York City. As a community education and organizing tool, The Domino Effect has been selected by numerous film festivals and screens worldwide by communities affected by gentrification and urban land-use politics.

York Competes in NASA Robotic Mining Competition