Local high schoolers take part in NASA robot competition

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Updated: 3/24 11:20 pm

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – NASA’s Centennial Challenge will feature some Schenectady High School students.

The students are the first high school to ever be accepted into the competition. The goal of the challenge is to develop useable technology for the planned 2020 Mars Rover expedition.

The robot should be able to navigate complex terrain and seek out samples to be returned during a specific amount of time.

 “There are going to be ways to pick up items and to put those items in a container,” team leader Bob Svec said. “There are going to be ways to drive the robot around.”

The Navy veteran will be heading up almost a dozen students and teachers in the competition to develop the right software to solve some of the problems that have been plaguing NASA’s Mars Rover.

“Some fresh, young minds to help NASA solve that problem,” he said.

The prize of the competition is $1.5 million and to have their software be part of the Mars Rover.

The students’ work has to be submitted at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. for the mid-June competition. They will be competing against teams from California as well as Europe.

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