Winners of AFRL Spacecraft Robotics Challenge Announced

For Immediate Release:

November 4, 2017

Spacecraft Robotics Challenge Winners Announced

ALBUQUERQUE-A team from the University of New Mexico took the top honors today at the inaugural AFRL Spacecraft Robotics Challenge. The team, comprised of graduate and undergraduate engineering students, beat out other robotics teams from around the region to claim first place and the $6,000 top prize.

“We want to congratulate the winners of our very first AFRL Spacecraft Robotics Challenge,” Matt Fetrow, Director of AFRL Tech Engagement said. “We were blown away by the talent of all our participating teams, and we look forward to finding new ways we can tap into, and work with, that talent both in academia and private industry.”

1st place team pictured: Steve Maurice, Travis Taylor, Joseph Kloeppel and Rebecca Kreitinger.

1st place team pictured: Steve Maurice, Travis Taylor, Joseph Kloeppel and Rebecca Kreitinger.

The Spacecraft Robotics Challenge is sponsored by the AFRL Tech Engagement Office in partnership with the University of New Mexico School of Engineering. It was held at the Albuquerque Convention center in conjunction with the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Discovery STEM Festival.

During the finals, teams had to compete in a series of rounds to see whose robots completed a series of assembly tasks the fastest and most accurately. The tasks replicated basic steps required to build a small satellite.

Winning team members included UNM master’s degree students Steve Maurice, Travis Taylor, Joseph Kloeppel and undergraduate student Rebecca Kreitinger.  

Local robotics and STEM coordinator Creighton Edington took second place and $3,000. UNM junior Zach Daniels placed third and received $1,000.

About the AFRL Tech Engagement Office

The AFRL Tech Engagement Office handles tech transfer/commercialization and STEM education outreach programs for Air Force Research Lab New Mexico. These programs are administered through agreements with various partners, including New Mexico Tech University and the University of New Mexico.