Recently the University of Hawaii at Hilo hosted a robotics competition that put mining robots from seven universities on the slopes of Mauna Kea volcano. The Robotic International Space Mining Competition was the first of its kind, and was put on by the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration System (PISCES).
The competition showcased robots that were effective miners, able to collect loose material on the top surface of the earth. Teams were judged on mining ability, design/innovation, and operational effectiveness, and a group of West Virginia University students walked away with first place. The competition is expected to continue next year and open up to international teams, but no details on upcoming deadlines or registration information are available just yet.