SA+P Students and Faculty Collaborate on NASA MINDS Challenge

March 22, 2021

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SA+P faculty and students are part of a team of interdisciplinary researchers at UNM teaching robots to take care of plants on Mars. Architects, biologists, computer scientists and engineers are collaborating to use robots to autonomously water and grow New Mexico chile peppers on Mars, the same variety of chile that will soon be growing on the International Space Station.The UNM CHILI HOUSE Team plans on using Swarmie robots–smaller, simpler machines than the current Mars rovers–and newly developed water sensors to nurture the plants remotely and autonomously inside an inflatable dome covered with Martian regolith.

The SA+P group includes faculty Kristina Yu and M.Arch. students Martin Luna, Natasha Ribeiro, Wil Lyons, and Amir Bakhshi. UNM students and faculty representing the School of Engineering, School of Architecture and Planning, and Department of Biology are working with others from the Santa Fe Community College, Cabrillo Community College, Sandia National Labs, MicroCeres and Next State Systems.

Read more about the UNM CHILI HOUSE in the UNM Newsroom: https://news.unm.edu/news/could-plants-control-robots-on-mars