RoundLogo.pngNASA's Colorado Space Grant Consortium



The Colorado Robotics Challenge

 Results from the 2020-2021 Robotics Challenge

Result quad charts and highlight videos from the 2020-2021 challenge.

Format for the 2020-2021 Robotics Challenge

Due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 virus, the 2020-2021 version of the Colorado Space Grant Robotics Challenge will not take place at Great Sand Dunes National Park. Instead, this year's challenge has been designed to be completed by individuals working together as part of a statewide virtual community. 


 If you have any questions please email Vicrtor Andersen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Background Information

Who can participate? The event is open to any student at a COSGC affiliate institution who is sponsored to particpate by the space grant program at that school. If you are a student at a space grant school and interested in participating in the challenge, please contact the affiliate director at your school.

 Once you are sponsored by your affiliate director, register for the challenge at  


 2020-2021 Timeline

Registration:  There is no registration deadline for this year's challenge, however we urge students to register and begin working as soon as possible. You can register online at


Robotics Challenge End Date: Because the Challenge is not tied to a specific challenge date as in past years, there is not a hard end date for the challenge. However, we're expecting that most participants will complete their work for the challenge by early to mid April.

COSCG Undergraduate Research Symposium: Although there is not a fixed end date to this year's challenge, we encourage all participants to try to reach step 3 of the challenge by early April, so they can give a presentation on their robotics project at the COSGC Undergraduate Research Symposium  that will be held online on Saturday, April 17, 2021. 

 Milestone Quad Charts: We’re asking all COSGC virtual robotics challenge participants to submit a “Milestone Quad Chart” (we provide a powerpoint template and completed example below.) The purpose of the quad chart is to highlight your major accomplishments with your robot up until this point. 

  • Due Date: Please submit your quad chart by May 1.
  • File Format: Please submit your quad chart as a pdf document.
  • Video: We’ve asked you to provide a link to a video of your robot driving that you are most proud of.

Note: The quad charts with links to the video will be shared on the COSGC website. We want to share all the excellent work everyone has done on their robots, so we are planning on uploading all the quad charts to the COSGC website. If you don’t want your quad chart and video link shared, please let us know when you send in your chart so we know not to upload it to the website.

Robotics Challenge Steps and Levels

The robotics challenge is designed to have participants progress through three steps, where each step is divided into a number of levels. In step 1, participants will build a basic robot, while learning the basics of electronics and programming necessary to control their robot. In step 2, participants will add additional capabilities to their robot to increase its functionality. Finally in step 3, participants will continue to improve their robot in order to take on more advanced challenges.

The following material will guide you through the steps and levels in the challenge.

Materials and Getting Started Links

  • Robotics Challenge Overview: Includes eligibilty requirements and how to get started


Step 1: build a basic robot

Step 2: enhance your robot's capabilities

  • Levels 8-10: each participant will choose to enhance their robot's capabilities in different ways. We will provide modules for some possible enhancements, but participants may also choose other enhancements that meet their plans for the challenge their robot will tackle in Step 3.

Step 2 levelling guide

Since each participant may choose different enhancements for their robot, there will not be a fixed set of levels and levelling requirements as there is for step 1. Instead, for each level in step 2 participants will submit a short form detailing what they are planning to do for that level, and how they will demonstrate that the enhancement has been successful. Here is a template of the form to be submitted, along with an example of a filled out form.

  • Step 2 Level Plan Template
  • Step 2 Level Plan Example This is an example for adding an LED display to the robot. We strongly suggest choosing a display to your robot (doesn't have to be the Adafruit version in the example, SparkFun makes a similar version for example.)

Step 2 Resources

Step 3: tackle one or more advanced challenges

  • Levels 11+: each participant will use their robot to tackle one more advanced challenges. We provide 3 open ended challenges for participants to choose from (see the step 3 outline below). In step 3, we won't provide detailed step by step modules, just a framework with some suggested challenges, defined by a set of requirements for each. At this step, participants get to stretch their engineering and design muscles by more fully defining the problem they are going to take on as a well as a solution to the problem. Participants will document their engineering design and problem solving by creating requirements, test plans, design reviews, reports, and so on. 

Step 3 Overview and Resources