MoonBots 2012 Challenge

ln the beginning of 2012 summer we heard about the MoonBots 2012 Challenge from a member of the GLXP Team Puli Space, Márton Deák (who was our team captain during the competition) and decided to join the competition to test ourselves and push our limits. We got into Phase Two's thirty finalists out of 147 teams and 22 countries. In November we made our live presentation in the Futura Scientific Centre. Two weeks later the result was announced and we won the competition! In March 2013 we travelled to Hilo, Hawaii where we visited the Mauna Kea observatories and the lunar test field.






"Hi everyone!


Since the middle of summer, we have worked on the Moonbots 2012 competition. It was a great challenge, we have really enjoyed working on it. We have been waiting for the results for a long time now. We were extremely happy when we found out we won. We want to say thanks to the organisers, the jury and the sponsors.


We also want to thanks to our supporters: our school that gave us place to work, our mentor Miss Ágota Lang, the GLXP team Puli Space and our team captain Márton Deák for the technical help, the Futura Scientific Center as the place for the live presentation and our family for the unlimited patience.


Congrats to the MoonBots teams, you did a really good job, especially the Runners Up teams, congratulation to the IncredibotsApollo 19 and Titanium Springboks. - HungaroBots





Phase One






Creative Question:


For the lunar landscape we want to use a table representing a 1:10 scaled model of the Lunar surface, showing a sample of the mare areas. Due to their surface morphology they are the safer areas to land on (that’s why all spacecrafts landed there), so the future landings are also planned there. It should have small walls around it. This edge would look like the space with the celestial bodies. It would be made out of wood or paper and we will simulate the light of stars with LEDs, the Sun with a brighter bulb – and of course the Earth would be also visible. One of the walls of the table would be made of glass, showing a section of the subsurface structure of the lunar surface – the bedrock, the regolith and the structure of a crater.


Under the table there will be the “skeleton” of the landscape made of wood, making the basic shapes of the terrain. The surface morphology – like craters and faults would consist of grey polysterene (representing the bedrock), for the high ridge we will use poured out concrete blocks. There would be craters with different sizes. If the landscape is about 2 m x 2 m (20 m x 20 m in real life) the diameter of most of the craters would be between 30 and 50 cm (3 and 5 m) and there would be one partially visible crater with 1 m diameter (10 m). We also want to study the actual Lunar surface morphology so there would be older, overridden craters, ones (only the largest craters) with central peaks and also “simple” ones.


Covering the surface of the polysterene we want to use mainly natural materials. First the regolith and moon dust would be represented as a layer of small rocks and on the top of that, instead of the very small grain sized moon dust, grayish sand or maybe a different dusty material. We would also have craters formed in the regolith, but only the smaller ones with a maximum diameter of 20 cm (2 m in real life). Since the surface of the Moon is basaltic, basalt rocks would represent the bigger rocks standing alone or more next to each other. We’re not sure if we plan to simulate one of the poles of the Moon, but if we decide so, we’ll use glass to represent the water ice volatiles on the surface.


We also want to use LEGO bricks to build some of the landed spacecrafts like Apollo 11 and Lunokhod 1. They will look like the original heritage artifacts that NASA and Roskosmos left on Moon. The starting base also will be made out of LEGO elements. 



Outreach Question:


We chose the Csodák Palotája (Palace of Wonders), an interactive scientific exhibition and playground in Budapest, the capital of Hungary for our place for the Moonbots Challenge. The owners gladly welcomed the idea and pledged their full support. We plan to deconstruct our lunar landscape in Sopron – our hometown – and reconstruct it 200 km away in Budapest. We think that because of it’s popularity among the youth in the age of 4-18 place is the best for this task. The younger ones are coming with their parents, and the teenagers from the age of 14 are often coming during school excursions with a teacher who is fond of the natural sciences and responsible for their STEM skills. The eldest are coming by themselves, because they already heard or read about the Palace of Wonders, or because they were here when they were younger and wanted to visit again.


In any case, this presentation of the Moonbots competition will be just one of the most spectacular events for the visitors of this place with a rich and scientific environment. We think it’s also our duty to promote the Moonbots Competition – our event might just be the right show for that. Maybe a lot of these parents and teachers mentioned above will be the new team captains for next year’s Moonbots Competition because of us!

For this idea the leaders of the Palace of Wonders are our perfect partners and they will promote this in their own way too (for example on their homepage).


The other considerable place for our presentation is the FUTURA in Mosonmagyaróvár.


The development creates an interactive, natural science exhibition which is unique in Hungary that resides in the near 300 year old Futura granary. The exhibition lays on more than 2000 m² and waits people aspiring to see innovative experiences and interested in sciences. It is sure that in the FUTURA neither children or teenagers, nor adults will be bored! One part of the exhibition presents to the visitors the close wildlife of FUTURA's surroundings that is Szigetköz region.The other part of the exhibition shows the wonders and mysteries of nature by playful and interactive materials. The exhibition can be seen on the 4 floors of FUTURA, each referring to the 4 natural elements (water, ground, air, fire). All this will offer unforgettable experiences, entertainment and fun. Discover this admirable world! 






Phase Two




MoonBots 2012 Mission - HungaroBots (PDF format)


Moonbots 2012 Scaled Drawing - HungaroBots (PDF format)






Game Topics: 


  • Google Lunar X PRIZE Mission – We are going to stream the whole mission as the original X Prize mission. Instead of going 500 meters we plan to an approximately 10 meter long roving on our lunar landscape.

  • Heritage Artifacts – Exploring the Apollo Lander and Rover and bringing back the Rover’s camera and the old LRRR (Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment) to the Base.
  • Solar Power on the Moon – We use Dexter Industries’ Solar Panel to charge our batteries during the mission.

  • A Night Rover Challenge - The Rover has to go up on top of the High Ridge, and stay there for a few seconds to survive the Lunar Night.


 After landing on the Moon, the Rover is surrounded solar shield panels. The start of the mission is indicated by the fall of panels. The first task for the robot is to drive off the base and by this, erecting the first flag, and cross the High Ridge. After that, the rover has to deploy a new LRRR, go back on the High Ridge, and “wait out the Lunar night”. The rest of the mission will take place in the mission area: The Rover has to discover the Apollo lander, erect the other flag, and get the first Material Samples, which are from Olivines. Next thing to discover is the Apollo Rover Vehicle, which has a mounted camera, and the Team’s Rover must retrieve this to get the points for this objective. Another task is to get more samples: Helium-3 and H2O. Since the rover brought a new LRRR, we must bring the old one back, for experimenting. The only task after this is to return to the base! Livestreaming the run means plus points!


The points you get for the course equals 360, just like a perfect circle.



1. Mission Start:

Both of the base’s panels has to fall down.

2. High Ridge:


  • The robot has to go up the ramp, through the ridge, and down the other side.
  • Night Rover Mission: The Rover has to go up on top of the High Ridge, and survive the Lunar Night, which means, the lights will fade for a few seconds, and then come back up. After this, the Rover can leave the boundaries of the High Ridge.



3. Heritage Artifacts:


The Rover has to stare at the specified mission items for few seconds, and/or bring the part of it back to the base:


  • The Rover has to find the Apollo Lander, and stare at it for a few seconds.
  • The Rover has to find the Apollo Rover, and stare at it for a few seconds.
  • The Rover has to dismount the camera from the Apollo Rover, and bring it back to the base, to aquire the points.
  • The Rover has to put down a new LRRR on the ground, wich is being carried from the beginning of the mission.
  • The Rover has to bring the old LRRR back from the mission area to the base.
  • The Rover has to erect the two flags around the landscape.



4. Material Sampling:

The Rover has to take specified amounts of samples from the named mission items, and bring them back to the base:


  • The Rover has to take at least 3 pieces of Olivine.
  • The Rover has to take back Helium-3 and H2O samples to the base (points given by the number of samples).



5. Returning to Base:


The Rover has to return to the base (touch the contraption).


6. Livestreaming:


The Team has to streaming live the mission, to the Internet.


7. Mission elements:

(Pictures in the Scaled Drawing PDF file)

  • Starting Base
  • LRRR (Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment)
  • Apollo Lander
  • Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle
  • Flags
  • Helium-3 and H2O
  • Olivines



Score System:


Lunar Mission Tasks

Obtainable Points

Rover dismount

10 points

High Ridge crossing

20 points

Deploy the new LRRR

20 points

Night Rover challenge

60 points

Discover the Apollo Lander

20 points

Olivine sampling (at least 3 piece)

40 points

Discover the Apollo Roving Vehicle

20 points

Flag erect (2 total)

15 points each (30 points available)

Apollo Roving Vehicle Camera dismount

40 points

Helium-3 and H2O sampling (3 total)

10 points each (30 points available)

Pick-up the old LRRR

30 points

Return to base

20 points

Live stream from the Rover

20 points


360 points





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