Undergraduates from Arizona State University and the University of Maryland (UMd) took first place in the 2010 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) contest held last month in Cocoa Beach, Fla. Nikki Staab at ASU reports that "the ASU/UMd capstone project involved the design and testing of a mobile robot code-named RAVEN (Robotic Assist Vehicle for Extraterrestrial Navigation). This three-wheel, 330-pound (150-kg) rover can traverse 20 degree slopes and is able to travel at speeds up to 3 feet/second (1m/s). Add to that its ability to carry experiments, samples, and tools, and RAVEN would make an ideal robotic field assistant for astronaut-scientists."
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