The robots which were constructed by the students performed tasks in the conditions simulating the surface of Mars. Rovers competed in five categories: engineering, transport, geology and service. Their tasks included, inter alia: changing over the switches on the reactor, measuring the current, collecting the subsystem located in the parts storage or completing the set route, without the video from the cameras.
The podium was dominated by the Canadians. The first place belonged to the University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team from Canada. The next on the podium were the Poles from Bialystok University of Technology (#next team). The third place was taken byMc Gill University from Montreal.
The contest was accompanied by a two-day science and technology picnic. The activities which were planned in the program included: launching the racket, robotics workshop and presentations for the youngest. ESERO workshops on space education were prepared especially for the teachers. Professional robots, used by inter alia, the military or the police, presented their application on the additional track. The event was supported by nearly 100 volunteers and the jury from 5 countries, whereas the information about the event came up over 3 thousand times in the media all over the world.
The special guest of the event was Harrison Schmitt – a renowned geologist – a university professor and a former NASA astronaut, who participated in Apollo 17 mission. The event was also visited by Gianfranco Visentin from European Space Agency and Prof. Giancarlo Genta, an acknowledged expert in robotics from Polytechnic University of Turin. Moreover, literature and cinema fans had a chance to talk to Andy Weir, the author of the bestselling novel ‘The Martian’, which was the basis for Ridley Scott’s film, starring Matt Damon.
ERC is the twin version of University Rover Challenge, organized by The Mars Society on the desert in Utah, the United States.
European Rover Challenge 2015 was organized by European Space Foundation and the Regional Science-Technology Centre in Podzamcze. The event’s patron is the Polish Ministry of Economy and the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ERC’s partners were: ESA European Space Agency, Polish Agency for the Enterprise Development, the Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) Voivodeship, Astor, WoBit, US Embassy in Poland, Intel and Mars Society Poland.