Spirit of Curiosity

Aim of the Challenge

  • To collect rock samples from the lunar landscape.
  • A remote-controlled, Fetch-and-Carry challenge.

Control Method

  • Remote-controlled

Time Limit

  • 5 minutes


  • Robots will be placed at one corner of an arena with sections of uneven terrain.
  • At the opposite corner of the arena, a collection of samples will be gathered; this is known as the ‘sample site’.
  • There will be multiple routes to the sample site. It is up to the roboteer which route they take to and from the site.
  • The robot will be outfitted with a small attachment, fixed to the robot using similar techniques to the Pi Noon pin/balloon attachment. The electrical connector block provided for Pi Noon can be used in this dual capacity. The fixing pole for the bowl is approximately 3mm wide, but you should ensure it can handle slightly wider to cope with any small differences in widths.
  • The design for the sample holder attachment is shown below and can be downloaded as a zipped SVG file here: Sample HolderPlease note: when opening in Inkscape, open it in “outline view”.
  • A photograph of the attachment on a sample robot is shown below (click to embiggen):
  • Roboteers should guide their robot, using remote controls, to the sample site. A member of the team (or volunteer) will then manually (by hand) place a single sample from the pile into the bowl attachment. They must then pilot the robot back to the start corner and manually (by hand) ‘unload’ the sample into a collection basket.
  • Both loading and unloading of the sample is expected to be a manual pick-up-and-place by member(s) of the roboteers’ team or a volunteer.
  • A single attempt of the challenge is permitted within the 5 minute limit. This will involve multiple trips from the start corner to the sample site.

Ranking and Points

  • A certain number of points will be allocated per collected and returned sample. These will be worked out and balanced against other challenges.


  • Some routes from the start corner to the sample site will be more suitable for small robots, and some more suitable for larger robots.
  • Samples will vary in size and weight.  The maximum sample weight will be typically 20-40 grammes.  Sizes will range from between 2cm and 4cm diameter.
  • We suggest adding some weight to the back of your robot to counteract the weight at the front from the sample and holder.
  • We recommend that, for this challenge, you don’t use a “ball caster” on the front or the back of your robot for balance – we recommend 3 or 4 wheels. The reason for this is that the course is not smooth and a ball caster is likely to get caught if it tries to drive over the rough ground.
  • More grip on your wheels would be advantageous. You can either use grippy wheels like those pictured above or else you may want to find some way of making the wheels you’ve already got more grippy, for instance by wrapping elastic bands or loom bands around them.

Ask Questions and Discuss

You can discuss this challenge and ask questions on the discussion forum or via Discord chat.