Caterpillar Continues Support of Student Innovation at NASA’s Lunabotics Mining Competition

Fifty college teams from around the world are taking part in NASA's Fourth Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition held at Kennedy Space. The competition, May 20 - 24, is designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The challenge is for students to design and build a remote controlled or autonomous excavator, called a lunabot, that can collect and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms of lunar simulant within 15 minutes. The complexities of the challenge include the abrasive characteristics of the lunar simulant, the weight and size limitations of the lunabot, and the ability to control the lunabot from a remote control center.

As a proud supporter of many STEM initiatives, Caterpillar is the largest sponsor of the Lunabotics competition and engages with the innovative engineering talent of the future every year at the competition.

"A year ago I was a student leading my team from California State University Sacramento in the annual Lunabotics competition. At the time I had no idea that I would get connected with Caterpillar and end up working for them, but am glad that I did. Being part of Caterpillar's Leadership and Technical Development Program has been a great start to my engineering career," said Aaron Brown.

This year Aaron is returning to the event with eight Caterpillar employees who will be hosting exhibits and/or judging the competition. Caterpillar will have a 793 Mining Truck Simulator available for students to test their skills operating a large machine in a virtual mine site.

For updates during the competition, find us on Facebook at and Twitter @CaterpillarInc. To learn more about the Lunabotics Mining Competition, please visit