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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Sample Return Robot Challenge

Demonstrate an autonomous robot can locate and collect geologic samples

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $1,500,000
Type of Challenge: Scientific
Partner Agencies | Non-federal: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Submission Start: 10/26/2015 12:00 AM ET
Submission End: 01/07/2016 12:00 AM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here:


The objective is to encourage innovations in autonomous navigation and robotic manipulator technologies.  Level 1 of the competition requires teams to locate the pre-cached sample and one easy sample in a 30-minute time frame and return them to the starting platform.  In Level 2, teams have two hours to retrieve the pre-cached sample and as many unknown samples as possible.  The Level 1 competition will be held June 8-13, 2016 and Level 2 will be September 2-5, 2016.


Centennial Challenges Sample Return Robot
Cash Prize Amount: $1,500,000
Technology Achievement $1000 from WPI for successfully passing Level 1 pre-inspection Level 1: Maximum $5000 per team Level 2: Gradient prize awards determined by number of samples collected, up to $1.39 million


For challenge rules, go to

Judging Criteria

For judging criteria, go to

How To Enter