Header Bar Graphic
Space Image and IconSpace HeaderKids Image
Spacer Space IconHomepage ButtonWhat is NASA Quest ButtonSpacerCalendar of Events ButtonWhat is an Event ButtonHow do I Participate ButtonSpacerBios and Journals ButtonSpacerPics, Flicks and Facts ButtonArchived Events ButtonQ and A ButtonNews ButtonSpacerEducators and Parents ButtonSpacer
Highlight Graphic
Sitemap ButtonSearch ButtonContact Button

Robot Helper Design Challenge
Archive of Challenge: March 1-May 1, 2003

Watch for New Challenge Coming: January 2004

Design Challenge Introduction: (requires Flash 6 player)
Would you like to have your very own robot buddy that floats around and helps you out? Talks to you? Understands what you say? Finds the homework you lost?

Susan Helms works in space
Scientists and Engineers at NASA are designing a robot to assist astronauts with their routine chores on the International Space Station (ISS)! These robots will float (because of microgravity), propel themselves, and help out with all kinds of tasks like checking the temperature and air composition to make sure it’s safe for the astronauts and making repairs to the ISS.

You are invited to pick one or more key questions to research and come up with designs that solve each problem.

  • What should your robot buddy look like?
  • How will it get around?
  • How will you talk to it?
  • What could it do for you?
  • What could it do for astronauts on the ISS?
  • How will you know your robot from the others?

During this challenge, teachers and students were encouraged to share ideas, findings, and questions with classrooms around the world and then submit preliminary designs for feedback from our NASA experts. Throughout the activity, students can interact with the NASA ISS Robot Challenge team to ask questions and receive guidance.

During a webcast on Space Day (May 1st) scientists answered student questions and reviewed their designs. See the Quest Calendar for links to archives:

What You Need to Do:
March 3-14: Students registered for the challenge
March 4: Join us for a tour of the International Space Station
Read the Transcipt
March 13: Join us for a webcast about Microgravity
Read the Transcript
March 10-
   April 25
The forum was where you were able to discuss your plans and ask the experts questions
March 24 Preliminary designs were to reach us by this date. The scientists are reviewing as many designs as possible. See submitted designs.
April 7 – 25 See Final designs submitted.

May 1

11AM-12Noon Pacific

2-3 PM Eastern

1800-1900 GMT

Hear from NASA experts Keith Nicewarner, Dan Andrews and Sal Desiano, who are involved in designing a robot to assist astronauts on the International Space Station. See what they have to say about your designs and how they are tackling some of the difficulties you encountered.

Read Keith Nicewarner's bio
Read Dan Andrews' bio

Keith Nicewarner photo
Dan Andrews photoView the Archive
Read the Transcript

More Information for Teachers

More Information for Students

Links to helpful information


Footer Bar Graphic
SpacerSpace IconAerospace IconAstrobiology IconWomen of NASA IconSpacer
Footer Info