NASA‘s Kennedy Space Center held a robotic programming competition that sought to encourage students from U.S. universities and colleges to develop software codes for space exploration robots.
The space agency said Wednesday that 20 teams representing 22 minority-serving universities and community colleges participated in the second annual Swarmathon competition held from April 18 to 20 at KSC, while 15 college teams competed in a virtual challenge.
Each team was asked to produce a computer code for small four-wheeled Swarmie robots made by KSC’s Swamp Works laboratory and the University of New Mexico.
Swarmies are designed to help astronauts look for and collect hidden resources as space personnel explore distant destinations, NASA said.
A student team from the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, won the Swarmathon competition and received a $5,000 cash prize while a team from Montgomery College in Maryland won a $3,000 prize for the virtual competition.