On Tuesday, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden addressed a group of investment companies assembled in Washington, D.C. and had some interesting things to say on the potential of today's students to meet the challenges of space. On the subject of the recent winner of the Regolith Challenge, he said:
The winning team is “Paul’s Robotics”, led by a young man by the name Paul Ventimiglia. Paul not only beat out 22 other competitor teams, he beat teams of professional aerospace engineers, and teams of world-class robotics experts. Paul is a college student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. He heard about the competition from a high school teacher.
Let me say a little more. Paul’s team did not win by a nose, say by one or two percent. Paul’s team moved 84 percent more Moon dirt than the second place team that qualified to win the $150,000 prize.
Students today! They'll kick your fanny given the opportunity.
The NewScientist video below, linked from Paul's Robotics page, includes images of his robot at work.