Mars missions are all the rage!

The S&T Robotics team has eschewed the annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) for something a little warmer. Instead of the Detroit’s northern suburbs they’re at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for NASA’s 7th annual Robotic Mining Competition
With an eye towards eventual manned missions to Mars NASA is looking for operational ideas NOW. The event gives university-level student teams the chance to design and build mining robots that can traverse a simulated chaotic Martian terrain, excavate Martian regolith and deposit the material into a collector bin in ten minutes or less.
RobotsleeperRyan Loeffelman sent this event summary: “We’ve been having a lot of fun here, and learned quite a bit so far. On the trip down we damaged our robot and it took some time to make repairs and our first official competition run didn’t go as well as we hoped; we got stuck in a hole. Wednesday night we fixed the robot only to have thunderstorms on Thursday shut down the event for safety reasons. Today an on-board computer connection failed and kept us from loading all the required regolith. You can see from the photo that we worked some pretty long hours.”
Ryan Loeffelman

Showdown at the Michigan International Speedway


Missouri S&T’s Formula SAE team is sitting pretty going into tomorrow’s endurance race. Out of 108 international teams the Miners have placed in the top ten of three categories: 4th in skidpad, 6th in autocross, and a stunning 8th in business … [Continue reading]

Tech is about the race car. Design is about you.


Your team. Your design approach. Your management. Your process. All of which is the heart, the raison d’etre of experiential learning at Missouri S&T (and all those other schools). In design you are assigned one hour of uninterrupted, … [Continue reading]

This is not your little brother’s tricycle…

Springtime means the Miners are on the road to design glory. Just a few weeks back we had four (count 'em, FOUR) multi-disciplinary teams on the road in just one weekend. In the chaos we neglected to mention the unveiling of Leviathan, the Human … [Continue reading]

There’s a reason it’s called the “Tilt Test”


After Tech inspection each team’s car has to go through a few more tests before it’s certified to race. The most unorthodox is the tilt table, which tests each car’s center of gravity. Each team must push their pride and joy up on the platform … [Continue reading]

Formula SAE tech inspection, and how to plan for it.


The Miners’ Formula SAE Team knows how important tech inspection is. Don’t pass tech? You may as well stay home because you ain’t gonna race. Planning for tech is a year-long process of studying the rules to make sure you don’t have to rebuild … [Continue reading]



The Fugitive Beach recreation facility, a few miles down Highway 72 from Rolla, often serves as Rolla’s analog for Mars. And that’s pretty convenient for some of S&T’s student design teams. FB is an old quarry that’s been converted to a … [Continue reading]

A Lovely Day for a Canoe Ride

UM and S&T canoesDSC_2047

Right. Rain, wind, cold, clouds, sun, more rain and more wind. And your canoe is made of concrete. But what you remember most is touching paddles with your competitors to say "well done!" At the annual concrete canoe/steel bridge twin bill … [Continue reading]

It’s Springtime In The Ozarks!


The dogwoods are blooming, turtles are crossing the road en masse, thunderstorms are brewing and S&T’s design teams are on the road. A revitalized solar car team took a weekend training run on the Licking race circuit, aka US highway 63. … [Continue reading]

When a New Team Gets Their First “Title” Sponsor

During a recent visit to S&T design team facilities Formula Electric team leader Nathan Bookout shows Executive Vice-President of Umicore USA Inc  Mark Caffarey some battery connectors the team produced on a 3D printer.

Missouri S&T’s Formula Electric Vehicle Team is set to unveil their first car in June, a project that’s been two years in the making, but right now they’re celebrating their first big sponsorship deal. Materials technology and recycling company … [Continue reading]