Putting garbage and waste to good use
On the other end of the design spectrum, Nacho Martin of Spain won for his Algi City, an undulating, organic metropolis on Mars. Protected by a biological membrane made of algae and water, Algi City is designed to be a no-waste collective committed not just to the closed-loop reuse of resources on Mars, but also to using recycled resources from Earth, such as plastics.
“Algi City presents a remarkable vision of future habitation, with a dizzying array of technology meets biology,” wrote judge Dr. Darlene Lim, a geobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center, in her notes on the winners.
Ramping up to 3D
This is the second time the work of Mars Home Planet's community of students, scientists and space lovers from all over our planet has impressed the judges. The project’s first competition, which ended in November, was designed to get participants’ creative juices going. And boy, did it ever — entrants submitted sophisticated, detailed conceptual designs for how people might live, raise food and get around on Mars.
For round two the difficulty was ramped up significantly. In addition to coming up with designs, participants had to create 3D models of their submissions using Autodesk software (which Autodesk provided as free-trial copies). The science and engineering of the submissions also had to hew to the physical realities of the Red Planet, from its lower gravitational force to its higher levels of radiation.
“The challenge is not for the faint of heart,“ notes Aimee Doyne, an AEC and product-development segment project manager at HP who is also managing the competition. “Yet the overwhelming response and incredible contributions continued — people did not lose steam.”
Up next: a virtual visit to Mars
Now, it’s all systems go for the third round of the Mars Home Planet challenge: the rendering phase. Participants will be asked to create still, animated, real-time or VR renderings depicting a smart city or region on Mars for a million people. That will provide the leadup to the final phase, whose winning 3D models will be put into Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to create the virtual-reality simulation. Experts from Technicolor and HP will oversee this stage of the project, working with community members to create a VR experience that will be unveiled to the public in August.
For Sodolsky, the project is beyond fun — it's inspiring. “The Mars Home Planet challenge paints a positive vision of the future, and that’s something I’d like to contribute to in any way I can.”
It’s certainly a whirlwind of a year for scientists and space aficionados. See you after round three!
Here's a full list of the winners of the HP Mars Home Planet 3D Modeling Challenge:
Civil Engineering Winner:
Athena – A City On Mars (Architectural Design)
Will Zhu & Junru Tao
Interior Design Winner:
ALGI_The Green Million City
Vehicle Design Winner:
Dune Runner/Multi Purpose Transport System
Industrial Design Winner:
SCV (Solar Field Construction Vehicle)
Mechanical Engineering Winner:
Shielding and Harnessing Energy from Mars Dust-Storms
Bijay Balia Hembram
3D Art Winner:
Community Awards Winners:
The Mars Ranger
Long Range Universal Platform
Sign up to help design the colony on Mars for a million people.