what we do

What is tennessee lunabotics?

We are an interdisciplinary student design team competing in NASA's Lunabotics Competition. Each year, we build a lunar rover to help solve a problem with returning humans to the moon.

The Competition

Lunabotics is a year-long competition where university-level teams compete to design, build, and operate robots that conduct operations on a simulated lunar surface. Teams experience the full project life cycle while employing systems engineering principles to meet competition deadlines throughout the year.


Teams design an autonomous or remote-controlled lunar rover.


Teams manufacture, assemble, and test their robots.


Select teams are invited to compete in the on-site challenge at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


6:00 PM
All-Team Meeting
Kao Innovation & Collaboration Studio
The weekly General Body Meeting is an opportunity for our subteams to discuss what they've been working on, as well as plan the rest of the week in conversation with the entire team. We set our goals and make large decisions as a team during this time.
6:00 PM
Kao Innovation & Collaboration Studio
Meetings are used to discuss foundational ideas regarding the robot design, instead of in-depth CAD work. This gives us a starting point for what to search or think about outside of meetings regarding design, saving a huge amount of time and increasing the chances of a more successful and creative design. During the spring semester, this meeting and some GBMs shift to fabrication.
6:00 PM
Control Systems - Electrical
Kao Innovation & Collaboration Studio
Electrical design meetings are used to design circuit diagrams, research parts, and solder electrical components.
6:00 PM
Control Systems - Programming
Kao Innovation & Collaboration Studio
Programming uses this time to review code, architect functionality, peer program, and test our systems on the hardware that will be in use on the robot.
6:00 PM
Kao Innovation & Collaboration Studio
During our weekly sessions, we evaluate our financial health, keeping an eye on budgets and expenses. We brainstorm upcoming outreach initiatives, lay down strategies for effective fundraising, and review our online presence. These meetings also offer a platform to enhance collaboration with local robotics teams, fostering a symbiotic relationship of learning and mentorship.

Important Dates


Explore the teams that make up lunabotics


Team leadership members help facilitate team meetings, and serve as team ambassadors when communicating with staff at the University of Tennessee and external partners. Our leadership team is made up of the following members:

President — Michael Fox
Vice President — Christopher Canaday
Treasurer & Business Lead — Srikar Rairao
Safety Officer — James Watts
Mechanical Lead — Arhan Mohamed
Control Systems Lead — Connor Gannaway

Mechanical Design and Fabrication

Every bolt, angle, and measurement is designed using CAD by the Mechanical Design Team. The team iterates through the design process, from preliminary design review to critical design review, working to design the best solution for the robot's task with consideration to budget, parts, and feasibility. The design team splits itself into subteams that focus on specific functions of the robot during development, and spearheads robot fabrication in the spring with help from the rest of the team.


The the Business Team is the backbone of our financial and community outreach endeavors. Tasked with managing budgets and procurement, we ensure the organization remains fiscally sound. Our passion extends to promoting STEM among the youth, facilitated through well-organized outreach events. On the fundraising front, we harness partnerships, pursue grants, and drive merchandise sales. In the digital realm, we engage our audience through social media channels and online sales, ensuring our mission's message resonates.

Programming & Electrical

The Control Systems team is responsible for all of the code required for the different robot systems, as well as the electrical design. The code is split into a client application, as well as server and embedded systems communicating over TCP.
We make use of the following languages and tools:

  • C/C++ for main codebase
  • Scripting Languages
  • Python (Vision R&D)
  • OpenCV
  • XInput
  • UNIX

Exploration Teams

Tennessee Lunabotics supports two subteams competing in other NASA Artemis student competitions, the Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams (Micro-g NExT) Challenge and the Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge. These teams propose and develop technologies addressing key pain points in NASA’s human exploration programs.

Micro-g NExT Leadership Team:

  • Kyle Bush
  • Hunter Clark
  • Rondi Quass
Join Today!


Tennessee Lunabotics was founded in 2021 to compete in NASA's annual Lunabotics Robotic Mining Competition. The team is interdisciplinary in nature, with members in all disciplines of engineering as well as in business and the natural sciences.

The ultimate goal of the team is to enhance the university-level education of our members by teaching practical skills to solve a truly difficult engineering problem. Members gain practical experience in areas such as hardware and software design, project management, fundraising, outreach, and soft skills such as collaboration and presentation skills, all usable in their careers. Our members routinely get internships & offers from NASA, DOD, leading tech companies, and defense contractors.

Interested In Joining?

There are many ways to become an active member of Tennessee Lunabotics! You can either join our team's Discord, send us an email, or stop by one of our weekly General Body Meetings Mondays at 6 P.M. in the Kao ICS!

If you have any questions, reach out at: [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the competition?
Our end goal is to create a robot that can navigate and mine on the moon. This will be tested during competition week, where teams will gather at the Kennedy Space Center to test their robots on an obstacle course that simulates the moon’s surface.
Why should I join?
You get relevant real-world experience to help you land your dream job in the field you are pursuing. You will also learn about how a project moves through its life cycle, helping you manage projects of your own.
What are the awards?
Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence is the largest award offered at $5000. Click for more awards info.
What's Updog¡
idk, u¿
Do I need experience?
No! We're happy to teach the technologies we use to new members, and our teams are always learning as we push our designs further.
Can I join multiple teams?
While it is possible, our teams work hard on very different components of the project. It is preferable if you do not spread yourself too thin.
What else do you all do?
We like to don our beanies and cargo pants and make our way over to the Vol Wall after meetings, and kayak on the weekends.
Do I need to be an engineering major?
No, you do not. All we ask is you put forth your best effort to contribute or learn. We also have a small business subteam that coordinates smaller projects, outreach, and manages socials.