The German space agency DLR and the German Ministry of Economics and Technology organized a pioneer event for national robotics researchers and developers, the SpaceBot Cup. 10 teams worked on developing robotic systems to participate in the event that was set up as a competition.

The goal was to maneuver the robots in a difficult environment similar to an extraplanetery surface and let them locate and fetch items. The robots were to show (semi-)autonomous behaviors, as similar to real space missions. Developers had only limited access to the robots during the runs.

All teams presented new developments for this event. Locomotec wanted to try out how a KUKA youBot can be adapted to handle this completely new environment. While a change of wheels and gears did somewhat help to drive on uneven grounds, it was recognized that full offroad abilities would require some larger modifications.

The event finished without a winner being declared. While the teams did develop some remarkable robotic systems, partly from scratch, in less than a year, most of them did struggle with the constraints set by the competition. No team finished the complete task. A second edition of the event is now under consideration where presumably teams could show much better performance when being able to focus on the specific challenges set up by the competition.