AI SpaceFactory, a New York-based architectural and technology design company, won a NASA competition focused on the development of space habitation platforms using advanced manufacturing technology.
The agency said Saturday AI.SpaceFactory received the $500K grand prize for winning the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge and Pennsylvania State University took the second-place award amounting to $200K.
Both teams used robotics and recyclable materials to produce subscale shelters within a 10-hour period. A panel of judges assessed and tested the structures against a set of criteria such as leakage, durability, material mix and strength.
The multiphase competition started in 2015 under the Centennial Challenges program and challenged the participants to address different aspects of 3D construction, including design and onsite habitat assembly.
"We celebrate their vision, dedication and innovation in developing concepts that will not only further NASA's deep-space goals, but also provide viable housing solutions right here on Earth," said Monsi Roman, a program manager at the agency.
Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., helped administer the competition in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and industry sponsors that include Bechtel, Caterpillar and Brick & Mortar Ventures.