The European Rover Challenge is an international space & robotics event combining competition of martian rovers with scientific and technological shows.

Guided by the slogan “we inspire a new generation”, we have been bringing the cosmos closer to the general public and making people aware of the growing role of modern technologies in our lives since 2014. ERC is also a meeting place for representatives of the European world of science and business interested in the use of space and robotic technologies.

Among the special guests of previous ERC editions, you could meet, among others Steve Jurczyk – former Associate Administrator of NASA, Robert Cabana – NASA Associate Administrator, Robert Zubrin – founder of The Mars Society, Harrison Schmitt – NASA astronaut and member of the legendary Apollo 17 mission, or Tim Peake – an astronaut of the European Space Agency, who ran the London Marathon during his stay on the International Space Station.

The main part of the project is an international robotics competition, where academic teams from around the world present their mobile robot designs, competing in competitions based on real ESA and NASA missions. The competition takes place on the world’s largest artificial Martian track, that is directly derived from the surface of the Red Planet. Since 2021, the competition is held in both formulas: ON-SITE (teams compete with self-constructed robots on MarsYard in Poland) and REMOTE (competitors from several continents will remotely control the robot, physically moving along a track located in Poland.


Inspiration Zone, and from 2020 also workshops and other forms of online entertainment, are prepared for tens of thousands of space, science and new technology enthusiasts, attracted every year by the ERC. One of the most frequent groups of visitors to our event are parents with children, which is why we arrange the program of attractions to include workshops, interactive shows, speeches and popular science lectures tailored to audiences of all ages.

Artemis Westenberg

CEO, Explore Mars Europe

For me the ERC embodies all that I love about Planetary Sciences as the joyful cooperation and exchange between disciplines and between countries is so aptly demonstrated here.

Dr. Harrison Schmitt

Apollo 17

You're doing a great job, giving experience and encouraging people to take more action.

Dr. Gernot Groemer

Director, Austrian Space Forum

The ERC is reaching beyond the robotics challenge itself, by combining planetary science, a strong emphasis on education with a strong and vibrant voice in the media.

Maria Antonietta Perino

Director, Thales Alenia Space

We need new ideas and new points of view. That's why an event like the ERC is of great importance!

Dr. Robert Zubrin

Founder, The Mars Society

This event is a spectacular success!

Steve Jurczyk

NASA Associate Administrator

The ERC competition teaches us that every large project consists of the sum of smaller activities and the performance of each of them determines the success of the entire undertaking.










2022(8th edition)

University of Technology Kielce, Poland

  • A three-day hybrid program of the event full of lectures, debates and presentations;
  • Live connection with a research expedition of the Ocean Exploration Trust (Nautilus E/V);
  • A replica of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit;
  • 92 registered Teams from all over the world (on-site and remote formula);
  • 38 Teams qualified to the finals;
  • #ERC2022 winners: AGH Space Systems from AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow (Poland, on-site); DJS Antariksh team from Dwarkadas J. Sanghvi College of Engineering (India, remote)

2021(7th edition)

University of Technology Kielce, Poland

  • Almost half a million people followed the event on-site and remotely;
  • A three-day program of the event full of lectures, debates and presentations – broadcast in two languages;
  • Over 60 international speakers;
  • Selected special guests: Robert D. Cabana – NASA Associate Administrator, Robert Zubrin – founder of The Mars Society, prof. Chris Welch – International Space University and many more!
  • 38 teams from all over the world participated in the finals;
  • The world’s largest active Martian volcano;
  • #ERC2021 winners: the IMPULS team from the Kielce University of Technology (Poland, ON-SITE formula); DJS Antariksh team from Dwarkadas J. Sanghvi College of Engineering (India, REMOTE formula)

2020(6th EDITION)

University of Technology Kielce, Poland

  • 5 million media coverage
  • 252 thousand people followers and people interested in the event on social media
  • 80,000 views of the event and 6,500 views of the conference broadcast
  • 5 special guests including Douglas Terrier (NASA, Chief Technologist) and Louise Hamlin (NASA JPL, Engineer and manager at hawc project)
  • 43 hours of online streaming, 33 finalists, 30 exhibitors on site and online
  • 6 conference panels, 3 competition stands
  • 4 streaming platforms, 3 transmission channels and 2 directors

2019(5th EDITION)

University of Technology Kielce, Poland

  • A total of 100,000 viewers following the event on site and online
  • Special guest: Steve Jurczyk, Associate Administrator at NASA
  • 28 teams from 13 countries competing on the most geologically diverse Mars Yard in the world
  • IMPULS from the Kielce University of Technology, AGH Space Systems and Rover-Ova from the Technical University in Ostrava were in the Top 3
  • Over 40 exhibitors in the Science and Technology Show Zone
  • Mentoring and business conference with the participation of representatives of the European space industry
  • Marsobus – the first educational Mars bus in Europe

2018(4th EDITION)

Museum of Nature and Technology Starachowice, Poland

  • 56 registered teams and over 400 young constructors from 6 continents competing for victory
  • Special guest: Timothy Peake, ESA astronaut who took part in the Soyuz TMA19-M mission
  • A new category of ERC PRO for start-ups, companies, research groups and people working in the broadly understood field of robotics
  • The IMPULS team was the winner, followed by Raptors and Robotics for Space Exploration
  • Over 75,000 viewers following the course of the event online
  • Nearly 25 thousand visitors to the Show Zone in Starachowice

2016(3rd EDITION)

Exhibition and Congress Center of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship Jesionka, Poland

  • ERC joins the global league of robotic competitions Rover Challenge Series
  • Over 400 competitors from 7 countries taking part in competitions simulating the exploration of Mars
  • International debate on space exploration with the participation of the ESA
  • The top three places were taken by Raptors, IMPULS and McGill University
  • Meeting and discussion of representatives of the Polish space sector
  • 50 exhibitors in the Show Zone and 20 thousand visitors

2015(2nd EDITION)

Regional Science and Technology Center Podzamcze, Poland

  • Competition of 34 mobile robots made by young designers taking part in 5 competitions
  • Special guest: Harrison Schmitt, PhD, participant of the Apollo 17 mission and the twelfth man standing on the surface of the moon
  • A Martian track made of almost 800 tons of red earth, simulating the surface of the Red Planet
  • Dozens of exhibitors at the Science and Technology Picnic and hundreds of visitors
  • USST, Next and McGill Robotics teams finishing in the Top 3

2014(1st EDITION)

Regional Science and Technology Center Podzamcze, Poland

  • The first European competition of Martian robots
  • Special guests: Robert Zubrin, PhD, founder of The Mars Society and Scott Hubbard, former head of NASA AMES
  • 9 teams from 4 countries competing in four competitions, modeled on NASA and ESA missions
  • The winner of the 1st edition of the ERC was the SCORPIO team from Wrocław, followed by IMPULS from Kielce and the Egyptian Lunar and Mars Rover Team