The Worcester News Telegram interviewed two local teams competing in Nasa’s Sample Return Robot Challenge being held this week at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The teams of students and private citizens hope to win prizes from a $1.5 million pool. Only one of the local teams is eligible for the prize since WPI's students aren't eligible.
The Sample Return Robot Challenge is part of Nasa’s Centennial Challenge program, an effort to bring fresh ideas into the space agency from outside the traditional aerospace community. Winners of several past Challenges have been members of the general public. A team of robotics enthusiasts from California won a $15,000 prize in last year’s Sample Return Robot Challenge.