This young man from Vilanova i la Geltrú is selected by the space agency among hundreds of students as the winner of an international science and technology competition.

Joel Romero, working on his project.

To Joel Romero he did not need to step on the university to develop a space robotics project that has ended up interesting NASA.

This teenager from Vilanova i la Geltrú considered how Mars could be colonized and build the basic infrastructures that will be necessary at first without risking the lives of the astronauts. The answer was, of course, for anthropomorphic robots to do so, and more specifically, robots controlled by astronauts that would operate them from a distance of 17,000 kilometers, a position closer to the red planet than Earth. Thus, would reduce the delay of orders from 20 minutes to less than a second.

This brilliant idea regardless of age, has served Romero to obtain recognition in the last contest of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), whose winners were announced at the end of May.

As published by the Vilanova newspaper, Romero, who was in Los Angeles to receive the award, will now spend the summer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to improve his prototype: “I bought the glove with which the robotic hand is controlled at Decathlon and it has the sensors sewn by hand,” he reveals to his local newspaper.

Among the finalists in this contest, one of the most important for pre-university research, there was also another Catalan, Queralt Portell de Montserrat, 18 years old and a student at the Institut Manuel Carrasco i Formiguera, in Barcelona, ​​presenting a project on detecting changes in the dark matter of galaxies.