Sunday, February 24, 2013

New Partners!

We haven't really given much of a shout out to all of the recent additions to SpacePRIDE. Without these partners, we really would not be able to do what we do, or even compete. I would like to introduce you to each of our partners, what they do, and how they are helping us. Again, without their support, we would not be where we are today. Thank you to each and every one of our partners.

At, we pride ourselves by being able to help people. This is a great co-working space
that has brought many of Augusta's smartest people together to work together and create an
amazing future. We are very happy to be a part of this technology revolution happening in our
home town. At, we are able to work on our rovers in a community environment, allowing us
resources and knowledge that we previously did not have access to. 
SDP/SI Manufactures precision, high quality parts and assemblies. These range from timing belts,
pulleys, sprockets, couplings, fasteners, gear motors, and much more! They are leading the industry in
small components and have connections to commercial, aerospace, medical, and hobby applications.
We are happy to have their support as we work towards a future with more robotics that need the
exact parts that they manufacture.
Pololu Robotics is an outstanding source for electronics and components for use in the robotics world.
Their parts range from I/O devices, motor controllers, gyros, accelerometers, sensors, and much more.
They are an amazing group of people that are there to help their markets with first hand support and
product references. Pololu has saved us valuable time this year by providing much needed electronics
support to get our rovers moving on their own. We look forward to see what products they bring forward in the future!! What more can we say. ANYTHING robotics can be found here, and they have
outstanding support in what they offer. Their products range from everything TO everything, whether it's
for hobby, commercial, industrial, medical, personal robots and much more. 
Another amazing partner! FingerTech Robotics helps us by bringing miniature parts to the table.
They offer amazing product support, and have helped us determine the best parts to get our rovers running.
Where else can you find amazing products backed by amazing people? 
Need Servos? The name says it all. They have the BIGGEST assortment of servos you could ever
ask for. An amazing assortment at that. ServoCity has helped us by giving us the liberty of having exactly
the right amount of motion with exactly the right amount of power for a few of our control systems. If you need
to accurately move something to a precision position, let ServoCity help you!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 - A New Year, A New Adventure

Wow, what a year 2012 was! After competing in the Sample Return Challenge, we stayed extremely busy. Modifying designs on the drive home, setting up meetings with supplies and schools to show our innovation and technology, getting involved with a maker space to help promote technology in our area...whew, it's been a busy few months to say the least, but 2012 is gone, and 2013 is here!

We're proud to say that our registration is in and we're looking forward to more information about the competition soon. We've made progress on the new rovers, and have designed some very nice modular pieces that we hope will innovate out door rover driving.

We will try to post more on our blog and website, but we are staying extremely busy gearing up for the 2013 Sample Return Competition. If you didn't make it out to WPI last year, you missed out! It was a ton of fun and we can't wait to get back there and show the world what we're building.

See everyone soon!
- Chris

Friday, July 27, 2012

Luncheons and Fan Appreciation

This is the Kiwanis Sign outside of
the banquet room at Cumberland Village
This is the SpacePRIDE display table
at the Kiwanis Luncheon.
I had the privilege of representing SpacePRIDE as the guest speaker at the Aiken Kiwanis Club's luncheon yesterday.  I had a BLAST!!  The food was great, and the club members were very friendly and welcoming.

I really enjoyed the chance to share some pictures and some information with this prestigious club.  I talked them through the details of the Sample Return Challenge, and I was able to tell them about all of the community work we have our hands in.  They showed real interest and asked some great questions!  I look forward to working with them again in the future!

One of the most interesting things for you guys will be SpacePRIDE's brand new "Fan Appreciation" campaign!  In order to get our name out there, we have started a monthly drawing that will take place on the last day of each month.  The prizes will vary month-to-month.  We look forward to our first drawing in just 4 days!!  (July 31)  If you would like to be included in the drawing, go like our facebook page at

We're working hard getting ready for next year's competition!  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!!  We'll get back to you promptly!  :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It isn't Even Easter Yet!!

To a member of the general public, it must seem like the robot-building process moves very slowly.  It's difficult from our end trying to convey to you what all is going on.  On the one hand, we want to keep you all involved in our build.  We want to be able to make this a learning experience for the entire community!  On the other hand, we can't reveal too many "secrets" about our plans because of so much on the line for prospective winners.

Let me assure you, plans are in motion!  We have brought-in new sponsors and new team members, and I can't wait to formally introduce them to you!  In addition to all of these new things, there have been a few "Easter eggs" hidden on our website.  We may do this from time to time, and we probably won't mention it again.  Let's see how detail-oriented you are and how much you pay attention.  Can you find our little hidden surprises?  If you do, don't tell anyone.  Remember, they're hidden for fun!  Let others find them too!

Stay tuned over the next couple of days, and we'll let you in on some of what's going on around here!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Media Attention

I know we're about a million lightyears away from being surrounded by paparazzi, but all of these news articles are definitely building up!  This is pretty exciting!  I know people are in the news all the time, but we are not used to being those people!  ;)

It's exciting to be a part of something like this!  I think my favorite part is that we're just ordinary people trying to do extraordinary things.  Apparently other people find this newsworthy.  :)  I won't argue with that.

I'm looking forward to taking the things we're learning through this experience back to the kids on the FIRST teams we mentor.

Tell us: What kinds of things would you like for Team SpacePRIDE to blog about?  :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Media Interviews

After interviewing with NASA 360, NASA executives, astronauts, Event Officials, students, and countless onlookers from Worcester, you'd think that media interaction had become almost "old hat," right?!  (Nice run-on sentence!)

Well, media interaction hasn't gotten easy yet.  (*crosses fingers*)

It's still a little nerve-wracking knowing that whatever you're saying or doing might end up in the paper or on the television.  LOL  I know I sound like a nerd right now, but it's still a little scary.  ;)

This past Saturday (June 23), Rob Novitt from The Aiken Standard came to the house to interview Chris and me.  He really did an amazing job asking questions and very patiently pacing through the story of how Chris and I got involved with robotics.  We had a great time talking with him, and we really enjoyed telling the story of how Team SpacePRIDE got started.  :)

Laura came by today from NEWS 12 WRDW.  She did a great job getting some shots of Chris driving the rovers.  She even got some shots of Marvin!  :)  Chris got a chance to give a summary of how things got started for Team SpacePRIDE and what NASA Centennial Challenges are all about.

Now we are waiting to see the newspaper and television stories.  I'm very excited to see how they turn out!  I'll be sure to post links to the stories after they are run.  I'm thankful to Rob and Laura for trying very hard to make the interviews seem "casual" so we would be less nervous.  :)  Of course, Chris is much more confident than I tend to be in those situations.  :)

-Amanda  :D

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It's Good to Be Home!

Team SpacePRIDE traveled to Worcester, Massachusetts to compete at Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Sample Return Challenge, with prize money provided by NASA.  Details about this competition can be found through links on our website.  (

We had a BLAST while we were in Massachusetts!  We got to meet astronauts, NASA officials, the NASA 360 crew, WPI's amazing volunteers, and many people from the public and from various other organizations.  I didn't even mention the other teams we got to meet!!  There were teams from across the U.S. and even from Canada!  I can't even get into all of the interesting and exciting interactions we had on this journey, but we are looking forward to competing in similar challenges in the future!

The picture above shows Team SpacePRIDE with Molly, the host of NASA 360.

Developing technology that could one day be used in space is something some people don't even dare dream of doing!  Challenges like this one make that a real possibility for teams like us!

We plan on using this blog to do a few of things:
(1) We will keep you all updated on what's going on with our team and our robot development.
(2) We will have another way to interact with you guys on a regular basis.
(3) We will most likely be taking several chances to tell you short stories related to the recent challenge at WPI or other life events.

The picture below shows all of the teams that came to WPI as well as several volunteers and officials.