Adams State University and RoundLogo.png

NASA's Colorado Space Grant Consortium Presents:


The Colorado Robotics Challenge

The 2019 Robotics Challenge was held on Saturday April 13th, 2019 at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

A huge thanks to the National Park Service for the great forum to test and challenge our Robots - and congratulations to all the students who braved cold, wind, and even water to demonstrate their robots. 

Pictures from the 2019 event may be found here.


 Registration and information for the 2020 event will be posted starting September 2019.

New to the event? Check out this presentation to help you get started 

 If you have any questions please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (303) 492-3141.






Who can participate? The event on April 12, 2020 is open to the public. While the Challenge is designed to engage students at COSGC institutions, there are limited spots for high school or middle school teams and folks with general interests in robotics can also get involved.  Enter a robot or come watch!  Previous years saw teams from many of Colorado's colleges and universities challenged to courses to simulate the challenges that the Mars rovers experience every day.  


Get Registered.   Register your team (registration for the 2020 event will open in September 2019), or at least your team captain now! No cost to get involved.  Register to receive information about the Robotics Challenge. You don't have to register a full team now. Mentors or team Advisors can register now and then update your team information when the team forms in the coming months. Teams provide their own hardware and travel to the event. 


Why a Robotics Challenge?

Continuing the legacy of the site of the Great Sand Dunes National Park as an ideal testing ground to simulate a Mars-like environment, Adams State University in Alamosa and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium are excited facilitate the annual event. Like engineers working on the Viking Landers in the 1970's, student from around the country challenge their creations to perform well on courses of various complexity - practicing their programming, troubleshooting, and quick thinking skills as robots move, avoid obstacles, navigate, and/or track a beacon to successfully maneuver obstacles.


This Challenge is designed to further robot development and challenge teams to learn about electronics, programming and operating in a difficult environment.  Our site, at the Great Sand Dunes National Park, is an excellent location for a simulated Mars mission. The terrain near the Sand Dunes creates an environment similar to what can be found on Mars. Participants should design their robots to function is a range of temperatures and natural terrain. There will be wind, ground vegetation, and other not-found-in-the-lab challenges which can render many sensors and movement systems non-functional. Sand has a way of rendering moving parts inoperative. The challenge the terrain presents are not trivial; it is the perfect outdoors laboratory where different ideas can be tested and evaluated.