Robot diggers successfully completed a timed trial for the first time at NASA's lunar dirt excavation challenge
Robots have finally risen to meet NASA's moon dirt digging competition after three years of failure. Three robotics teams took away a total of $750,000 in prize money by proving they could dig at least 330 pounds of simulated lunar regolith within half an hour.
The first place robot alone excavated 1,103 pounds of dirt and deposited it in a container within the time limit. Competitors not only had to dig out the sticky regolith grains, but also had to be light enough to meet a weight restriction of no more than 176 pounds.