About the Game

Form a team, design a robot, solve the challenge, and be part of the Google Lunar X PRIZE race to the Moon with LEGO® MINDSTORMS®!   

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FAQ

Does the game cost anything?

Registration is free. The only costs associated with participation are web hosting fees if necessary, presentation tools such as PowerPoint, an internet connection, and a camera for the live mission webcast and mission video capture. Each of the 20 teams that advance to Phase II will receive a free LEGO® MINDSTORMS® set and the LEGO elements required to build the challenge board.

How can I get the MoonBots challenge board? Is it sold separately?

The MoonBots challenge board is not sold separately. It is only available to the 20 teams advancing to Phase II of the MoonBots Challenge. The building instructions for the challenge board are provided in the About the Game section of MoonBots.org should anyone choose to source the elements and build it on their own.

Can my daughter and I participate? What is the minimum team size? What is the maximum team size? Can my adult team mentor participate?

The minimum team size is four and the maximum is six. The team may be composed using the following rules:

  • Team Captain (Team Member 1) : must be at least 18 years old as of the date of registration AND must be of the age of majority in his or her country of residence.
  • Team Members 2, 3, 4: Must be between the ages of 9 and 18.
  • (Optional) Team Members 5 and 6: Must be over the age of 9. Only one of these team members may be over the age of 18. This is designed to allow for a team to have a Mentor or adult Co-Captain participate. You may only have two adults over the age of 18 on a team.

 
Teams should be advised that the Judges will consider the ages of Team members when assessing each Team’s Robot Design Proposal, Video Essay, Blogs, Videos Blogs, and Team Documentary. Teams are encouraged to have their adult Team Members serve in an advisory capacity.

Was the minimum age originally 13?

Yes. We lowered the minimum age to accommodate the overwhelming response we received from younger MINDSTORMS users. We are happy they can now join us.

I have more than 5 students interested in participating. Can a coach have more than one team?

Yes. However, each kid can participate on only one team.

Where can I find the consent form?

You can find it here: http://moonbots.org/sites/all/themes/moonbots/files/MoonBots_Consent_Form.pdf

Do you provide a video camera?

No. A camera is necessary for video blog entries in Phase I, and for the live webcast and mission video capture in Phase II. A standard digital camera with video capabilities can accomplish both tasks.

Can we use the TETRIX metal building system to build our robot?

No. Only parts and sensors from LEGO and HiTechnic are allowed.

Are the sensor multiplexers from HiTechnic allowed?

The Touch Sensor Multiplexer is allowed. The Sensor Multiplexer is not.

Is the HiTechnic Prototype Board allowed?

No.

Are LEGO pneumatics elements allowed?

Yes.

Can I use extension cables for sensors and motors?

Yes, as long as they are LEGO or HiTechnic cables.

Are modified LEGO pieces or parts allowed?

No. Your robot must be made from unmodified parts or sensors from LEGO or HiTechnic.

Are there borders on all sides of the field? How high are they and what are they made of?

There are borders around the sides and back of the field. The front that runs along the Landing Base is open. The walls are 70cm high and are made of foam board.

Can we use LCAD/LDRAW to make the robot design proposal? Can we use Autodesk Inventor or Solidworks for our design proposal?

Yes.

Can the robot extend past the A4 dimension (297 x 210 mm; 11.7 x 8.3 in) at the start of the round if the tires or treads are within the limit?

No. Think of it as a virtual box with no lid. No part of the robot may extend beyond the virtual box before the round begins. Once the round begins it is free to expand unaided to larger dimensions.

What happens if the robot breaks a scoring object? For example, what if a robot breaks and returns half of a Water Ice element?

Broken elements cannot be counted as part of the score. It is imperative that the robot’s design and retrieval mechanisms are engineered to accommodate delicate scoring objectives.

Are the Water Ice and Helium 3 elements precisely placed on the lunar landscape?

Yes. However, their orientation (which way the loop is facing) is not. This will be announced shortly before Phase II judging begins.

What does "visit the crater" mean?

A visit to the crater constitutes having your robot touch the outside rim of the crater. Your robot does not need to enter the crater.

What does "discover the elements" mean?

Discovering the elements means picking up and holding the elements with the
robot. The point value of each element is tallied at the conclusion of the
round. If they are on the robot at the end of the round they are worth their
base value as defined in the rules. If they are returned to your base (either
on the ramp or the main platform) they are worth double if they are on the
base at the end of the round. If they are on your robot and your robot is
touching the base at the end of the round they are also worth double. The
robot can touch the base anywhere - side, ramp, top - are all OK. Remember
judges are allowed to give bonus points for excellence so style counts.

Once the robot is at the base can the elements be removed manually by a
team member?

No, the whole round should be completely autonomous. Any human interaction
with the robot after the beginning of the round will incur a penalty. You
also cannot switch attachments, programs, etc. without incurring a penalty.
This was designed to emulate a robot being on its own on the lunar surface.


Can the front outside edge of the playing field be used as a navigational aide?

No, the front edge of the playing field is considered out of bounds.