Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Officially Registered

It's official! You can find the Moonstormers now at the Moonbots Team Page. Collin has some really great improvements planned for our robot arm should we be included in phase 2 of the competition. Noah W. finished the robot design proposal yesterday. Now Kaitlyn is finishing up on the video essay.  This week has really been a challenge with two of our team members at scout camp for the entire week. We'll let them review what we've done on Friday and finish up and submit our proposal on Saturday. Wish us well everyone!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moon rocks and Martians at the Clark Planetarium

This afternoon the Moonstormers engineering minds were drawn to the simple machine savvy of  Newton's Daydream ball mover. They saw the difference in wattage between an incandescent lightbulb and LED technology. And they had a great time being space cadets on the lunar and Martian landscapes. It was a really fun way to collect footage for the video essay. Now we all can't wait to watch it. Special thanks to Mrs. Moore for coming with us on this trip!
We'll meet at 1:00 again tomorrow to finish up the robot and work on some final video stuff.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Video Essay on the Way

We had a good time today imagining what it would be like to try to terraform the moon without the help of robots.The kids think it would take a lot of blood, sweat and tears; and had a laugh imagining someone losing blood droplets out into space.

Tomorrow we'll wrap up the week with some time spent on individual assignments. Devin, Collin and Noah C. will wrap up testing for the drivetrain and move on to another section of their choice. Noah W., Kaitlyn and I will be completing the script and white board planning for the video essay. We may even get to record some audio.

We're looking forward to taking a field trip next Monday afternoon to the Clark Planetarium to take some interesting video. Please check your schedules everyone and decide if that's a good day, time for you and your families.
As of yesterday, the 2011 Moonbots Challenge has been extended to June 26. The Moonstormers are enthusiastic about this news because it provides more time for testing our robot design. We are seeing                some progress with our robot arm, drivetrain and chassis.

We're all going to take some time to study the links at the top of this blog so we can do the video essay. Additionally, we're working on our individual assignments. What a busy summer!

See you all Thurs. 1:00!

LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) used to detect if the Hydrogen on the moon is in the form of water.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

That's a Really Good Question...

Today the Moonstormers achieved "lift off" and some extensive experiments with the Earth's gravity. Collin's the tallest of the group. He dared everyone to try and bounce him. But he didn't count on everyone bouncing together... Guess that's what teamwork does for this group.

We watched videos of other robots navigating a lunar landscape, then explored some really cool suspension ideas of our own on Lego Digital Designer.

We also studied past and present methods of Moon exploration with Google Earth.

The Google Lunar X Prize Moonbots Challenge asks us, "How can robots influence future space missions, including missions to the moon?" First, with today's video and sensing technology, we think robots can be our eyes, ears and hands in an environment that's still hostile to us. This means we can be courageous in exploring space with little loss of human life. Second, we can send robots to the moon and other places to prepare the environment for plant and eventually human life. This process is known as terraforming.

A few ideas of what jobs we might want our robot to do for us on the moon are:
Mining, storing and purifying lunar water sheets and particles recently discovered in the moons coldest areas such as the lunar north pole and Shackleton crater.
Surveying the nutrients of lunar soil with swarms of very small "soil bug" robots.
Cultivating the lunar soil to nourish plant life.
Converting CO2 in the lunar atmosphere into O2.

Tonight the team will be thinking about which area of terraforming they'd like to explore further. They are also going to research what is currently known about lunar water-ice, and lunar soil. From there we can decide what our robot should do.
Today was a lot of fun! Tomorrow we'll experiment with the weight of water...he he he. Be sure to wear clothes you can get wet in. Have lunch at home then meet at 12:30 pm.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Moonstormers Team Inaugural Mission

We met today to begin our study of robots and the moon! We are stoked to submit our entry for the Google Lunar X Prize Moonbots Challenge! Our talents and strengths are diverse, but we have a great time together.