Submission

title
Machines In Mars Getting Minerals
short description
Autonomous resource extraction needs to be made smaller and smarter so we can create things on location in other parts of the solar system

Your Story


What are you passionate about? [public]
I'm passionate about finding "room for improvement" wherever it exists so I can have the opportunity to improve things. I'm passionate about learning, listening, and understanding as much as I possibly can to see the big picture. The subject matter that I'm most passionate about is electronics (I have a degree in this), software (I've started 2 tiny software companies), automation (I worked in semiconductor factory automation), big picture of business and society (I have two business degrees), and areas where the frontier is being pushed forward, such as space exploration and even news media

Your Prize Concept

If you are selected as a Visioneer, you will develop a prize concept in collaboration with a company sponsor, fellow innovators, and the XPRIZE team. This may or may not be the challenge concept you propose in this application.

What do you prize? [public]
Resource extraction & processing robots that can reasonably be transported by spacecraft. Small-scale mineral detection, sorting, refinement
What Grand Challenge do you propose a prize competition should solve? [public]
This Grand Challenge would be to solve the issue of being stuck with infeasible ways of creating outposts on Mars and other places apart from Earth. The ways of doing this that currently exist are to send all necessary structures and machinery via many large rockets, or to send large mineral extraction & processing equipment via many large rockets and use that to obtain materials to build the bulky components of structures and machinery on Mars. The issue is where a solution requires many expensive rockets, because the cost of these can’t easily be justified for sending big metal mining and smelting equipment, especially not when it would require humans to be present to operate it. This challenge would be to develop and autonomous, small-scale resource extraction and processing system which could steadily produce useful metals to support the development of outposts on other worlds. It’s almost like how a few small (easily transportable) seeds can turn resources in their environment into a massive (immensely heavy) forest, given enough time. It’s more like bringing a couple of seeds than proposing to ship half-a-forest of trees there. The seed method is actually achievable
What would the world look like when the Grand Challenge is solved? [public]
If this Grand Challenge were truly solved, investors would support the establishment of resource gathering (and adaptable manufacturing) operations on Mars and other places in the solar system. These businesses would profit from supporting the development of new outposts of society which are currently being demanded by researchers and opportunity-seekers. The development of technology to solve this challenge may also result in improvements to non-stationary robots, as well as methods of resource extraction & processing that are significantly more efficient and productive than current methods

comments (public)