The University of Utah RoboUtes is one of eight teams selected nationally to compete in the 2015 RASC-AL Exploration Robo-Ops (Robo-Ops), in a series of competitive field tests at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Rock Yard, Houston, Texas, June 3-5.

RoboUtes COLE VI will be doing his competition run this Thursday, June 4, 9:00-10:00 am. You can see him live remotely at—Social-Media.aspx.

Or you can come down to the Mechanical Engineering Kennecott (MEK ) Building, in the Large Robotics Lab (Room 0112) at the U to watch it in person along with Mission Control!

The U COLE VI Robot is operated over the internet on a 4G LTE connection from Mission Control. At the 2015 RASC-AL Robo-Ops Competition in Houston, the rovers will compete on a planetary analog environment under the supervision of NASA judges.

The only information available to the rover controller to perform the required tasks will be information transmitted through on-board rover video camera(s) or other on-board sensors. Cameras will allow the transmission of the competition back to the home universities as well as the general public.

NASA seeks to engage the public in its missions and research. Supporting that goal, the Robo-Ops competition includes a unique public engagement component to the challenge. Teams will be required to do an education and outreach activity for their rover that demonstrates participatory exploration approaches for future NASA missions. This includes Internet-based social media sites and other creative outreach approaches.

RoboUtes Away team, at Johnson Space Center:  

Dave Van Ness (Junior, ME)

Kristoffer Edlund (Sophomore, ME)

Chris McAfee (Junior, CS)

RoboUtes Mission Control, at MEK in the Utah Robotics Center:

Michael Bills (Spring 2015, ME)

Aaron Wernerehl (Senior, ME)

Jonathan Bruns (Senior, Bioengineering),

Nick Posselli (Junior, ME)

Mathew Monahan (Senior, CS)

RoboUtes Advising:

Mark Minor, Ph.D., ME

Jon Davies, M.Eng, ECE

 Follow RoboUtes on FaceBook to learn more and how you can get engaged.


The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah is committed to providing students with broad-based, rigorous and progressive education. By combining state-of-the-art facilities with renowned faculty, the department provides an education that gives students the necessary skills to become the next generation of innovators.