Google Lunar XPRIZE lands at BCIT

Of the sixteen teams still in the running for the 30-million dollar Google Lunar XPRIZE, only one is Canadian—and it’s working out of BCIT.

The unprecedented contest challenges privately funded teams to build a robotic spacecraft, launch it to the moon, land it, have it travel 500 metres, and—as if that weren’t enough—transmit high-definition video and images back to earth.

The Dobrianski family celebrates their moon shot.

The Canadian team—called Team Plan B—includes BCIT graduates. As many as five alumni have worked on the project at a given time. The core group boasts two of BCIT’s best. Sergei Dobrianski is the manager and spokesman; he studied Computer Systems Technology in 2011 and 2012. His brother, Andrei Dobrianski, earned an Electrical and Computer Engineering Diploma in 2006.

We’re thrilled to announce they’ve come home. Plan B now works out of the BCIT Applied Research facility.

“Sergie and Andrei Dobrianski embody the essence of applied researchers at BCIT,” says Nancy Paris, the Director of MAKE+ at Applied Research. “They are pushing the boundaries, working hard and reaching difficult, ambitious goals. We are thrilled to be providing support for their endeavor.”

The excitement and respect is mutual.

“Truly, I am really glad BCIT and its Applied Research Department opened their doors to support us,” he says. “This project requires a high tolerance for failure and thus far we have been bootstrapping this with minimal help. When BCIT answered the call I was ecstatic!”

The team has worked for more than five years already. The next six months will be crucial in the contest. BCIT is excited to get a front-row seat as Plan B reaches for the moon.

Sergei and Andrei are working to fulfill a family mission, first launched by their father, Alex.

“It will be very tough,” admits Alex, “but there is a chance. Currently, we have greater tools than previous pioneers who have succeeded at a Moon Shot. It would be a shame not to at least make an attempt and carry on where they left off.”

Learn about the Dobrianksi family in this video, produced by J.J. Abram’s production company, Bad Robot.


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