The European Rover Challenge is an event during which teams from all over the world compete on a special Martian track (the so-called Mars Yard). Teams compete in two formulas: ON-SITE and REMOTE. The teams present in Kielce use the rover they have designed to face tasks modeled on actual Martian missions. Competitors taking part in the remote formula use the Leo rover, produced by a Polish start-up, to complete the tasks. Thanks to the ability to control the robot from anywhere in the world, the teams can even more precisely map the work of engineers of the world’s largest space agencies – the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA.

The second part of the event is the Inspiration Zone, with numerous lectures and workshops waiting for visitors. Each of the three days have a theme. On Friday, September 9, experts will present the subject of Mars and plans for crewed missions to the Red Planet. The second day of the ERC will be devoted to the Moon and its business and economic potential as well as the commercialization of the space sector (under the patronage of Polish Space Agency). #ERC2022 will end with talks on space technologies on Earth The speakers will include experts from global organizations and national representatives of the space sector.

What is the martian rover competition about? What are the rules?

ERC is not just about rovers! Read more about the Inspiration Zone

Meet the teams taking part in the finals

Learn more about Occupy Mars: The Game

AGENDA

The rover competition and the Inspiration Zone will be available to visitors every day (September 09–11, 2022, Friday to Sunday) from 10.00am to 5.00pm on the campus of the Kielce University of Technology. Below you can find a draft agenda of the online broadcast & on-site activities. Participation in the event is free of charge. The livestream will be provided exclusively in English.

Date

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10am

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Beginning of the first day

Milena Ratajczak & Jury representatives

Jury representatives and the winning rover team of #ERC2021

10.30am

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Future technologies, research, and projects of space agencies and private companies

Keynote presentation – Artemis Westenberg

Debate introduction.

11am

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

How will new science and technologies change the world in the coming years?

Debate – Artemis Westenberg, Milena Ratajczak, Adriana Marais, Ilaria Cinelli, Patrycja Karwowska (POLSA/PERASPERA). Moderator: Aleksandra Bukała

What will the discoveries in genetics, cosmology, and AI research bring in the coming years of the 21st century? Will we be able to start time travel, reach the stars and meet other civilizations in space?

11.50am

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

What do rovers do on Mars and Mars Yard?

Remco Timmermans will talk to (among others): Maria Antonietta Perino, Andrea Merlo (Thales Alenia Space), Oskar Zdunek (Polish Space Agency)

Live from the Mars Yard studio. A conversation with the Jury and Space Experts on the applications of rovers in space exploration, with a mention of drones.

12.20pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG)

Meet the ERC’22 Exhibitors and Teams

Live from the Inspiration Zone and Team Zone

Presentation of Exhibitors, Teams and rovers participating in the ERC 2022.

2pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Future Mars Exploration

Keynote presentation – Gernot Groemer

Debate introduction.

2.30pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Living in a martian city

Debate – Gernot Groemer, Leszek Orzechowski, Romain Fonteyne, Ilaria Cinelli, Joanna Jurga, Thais Russomano. Moderator: Milena Ratajczak

An interdisciplinary conversation with experts from various fields about psychological, physiological, and biological aspects of life on Mars. A discussion on its future economy, governance, and possible lifestyles.

3.20pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Competencies in the space sector – who’s needed?

Remco Timmermans will talk to (among others): Przemek Rudź (Future Space, Polish Space Agency), Javier Rodríguez González (CDTI/PERASPERA)

Live from the Mars Yard studio. A conversation with the Jury and Space Experts on the required competencies in the space sector.

3.50pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG)

Meet the ERC’22 Exhibitors and Teams

Live from the Inspiration Zone and Team Zone

Presentation of Exhibitors, Teams and rovers participating in the ERC 2022.

4.20pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Wrap-up of the first day

Milena Ratajczak

10am

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Beginning of the second day

Milena Ratajczak & Jury representatives

A summary of the first day of the ERC competition.

10.30am

LIVESTREAM (ENG)

Lunar exploration

Keynote presentation – Maria Antonietta Perino

Debate introduction.

11am

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

The Moon – from survival to living

Debate – Gianfranco Visentin (ESA/PERASPERA), Reut Sorek Abramovich, Igor Kolek, Javier Rodríguez González (CDTI/PERASPERA), Carlos Espejel, Maria Antonietta Perino, Grzegorz Wrochna. Moderator: Milena Ratajczak

An interdisciplinary conversation with experts from various fields about our lives and work on the Moon, how to survive extreme conditions, human-robot cooperation, and a zero-waste lifestyle.

11.50am

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Differences between Mars and lunar rovers

Remco Timmermans will talk to (among others): Gianfranco Visentin (ESA/PERASPERA), Krzysztof Walas (Poznan University of Technology), Marta Balcer (Polish Space Agency), Romain Fonteyne, KP Labs

Live from the Mars Yard studio. A conversation with the Jury and Experts on the differences between Mars and Moon rovers.

12.05pm

STATIONARY (ENG)

Presentation about NEUROSPACE

Maximilian von Unwerth

Neurospace is a Berlin-based NewSpace company founded in 2020 by a group of experienced space engineers, programming specialists and physicists. It has set itself the goal of developing space technology enhanced with machine learning capabilities and is turning its eyes toward the moon. Representatives of the company will present to the ERC audience, their concept of a lunar rover.

12.20pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG)

Meet the ERC’22 Exhibitors and Teams

Live from the Inspiration Zone and Team Zone

Presentation of Exhibitors, Teams and rovers participating in the ERC 2022.

2pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG)

A new generation of space stations

Keynote presentation – Stefaan De Mey (ESA)

Debate introduction.

2.30pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Art and living in space

Debate – Dolly Daou, Niamh Shaw, Javier Rodríguez González (CDTI/PERASPERA), Andrea Merlo, Ben Haldeman, Pedro Duque. Moderator: Milena Ratajczak

An interdisciplinary conversation with experts from various fields about the meaning of art, design, photography, music, and even gardening on space stations. Applied technologies in space.

3.20pm

STATIONARY (ENG)

Building Space Economy and commercialize Science

Albert Lewandowski, Krzysztof Kanawka, Inna Uwarowa, Red Boumghar, Julien Lamamy, Savva Kerdemelidis, Íñigo Estébanez de la Mata

A discussion on building business models for projects operating in orbit and on the Moon in such a way that they are able to make money for themselves and that the private sector can realistically develop in space. Elements of the chain necessary for the new economy and potential risks will be presented.

3.20pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Future of the space market labor

Remco Timmermans will talk to (among others): Artemis Westenberg, Maria Antonietta Perino, Andrea Merlo, Larie Cujko

Live from the Mars Yard studio. What new professions will space exploration bring? What competencies should the next generation develop?

3.50pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG)

Meet the ERC’22 Exhibitors and Teams

Live from the Inspiration Zone and Team Zone

Presentation of Exhibitors, Teams and rovers participating in the ERC 2022.

4.20pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Wrap-up of the second day

Milena Ratajczak

10am

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Beginning of the third day

Milena Ratajczak & Jury representatives

A summary of the second day of the ERC competition.

10.30am

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

How to make business on Space Technologies?

Keynote presentation – Justyna Redełkiewicz (EUSPA)

Debate introduction.

11am

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Financing in the space industry

Debate – Katarzyna Malinowska, Michał Szwajewski, Pedro Duque, Miquel Pastor Vinader, Kornel Szabo, Marcel Stanyi, Istvan Sarhegyi, Íñigo Estébanez de la Mata, Michael Healy

An interdisciplinary conversation with experts from various fields about financing in the space industry.

11.50am

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

AI and autonomous robots

Remco Timmermans will talk to (among others): Gianfranco Visentin (ESA/PERASPERA), Oskar Zdunek (Polish Space Agency), Romain Fonteyne

Live from the Mars Yard studio. What benefits does designing better autonomous space robots give us? What new applications for such technologies will we find in the future?

12.10pm

STATIONARY (ENG)

Robotics and new technologies used in ocean exploration.

Nautilus

Surprise from the ocean! Online connection + Q&A

2pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG)

Overview of space-related advertising and the most interesting communication campaigns from the space sector

Keynote presentation

Debate introduction.

2.30pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

How to talk about space?

Debate – Łukasz Wilczyński, Remco Timmermans & guests

An interdisciplinary conversation with experts from various fields about how we should talk about space, how to communicate its complex topics, and sway the public.

3.20pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG)

Awaiting the results – interviews with the ERC’22 Teams

Live from the Team Zone

Conversations with Teams taking part in the ERC 2022 competition.

4pm

LIVESTREAM (ENG) STATIONARY (ENG)

Award and closing ceremony

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the Inspiration Zone?

An important part of the European Rover Challenge, which distinguishes this project from other events of this type organised around the world, is the Inspiration Zone accessible to the general public.

We are visited by viewers of almost all ages. Most of them are people interested in astronomy, new technologies and science, but there are also those who appeared at the ERC quite by accident and now accompany us at each new edition. A large group of visitors to the Inspiration Zone are families with children, so we make sure that there are also attractions for the youngest. Following the slogan “we inspire the new generation”, we have been bringing space and the growing role of modern technologies in our lives to the general public for seven years now. An inseparable part of this process are shows, workshops and presentations prepared by our exhibitors as well as lectures, talks and debates with the participation of guests from all over the world.

What is the difference between the two ERC2022 formulas?

On-site formula:
In the on-site formula, the teams work hard for twelve months to prepare a fully functional Martian robot according to the requirements set by the organizer. Each team consists of specialists in mechatronics, automation, robotics, autonomy, communication, and navigation. They are accompanied by departments related to administration, team management, promotion, and finance.

The competition aims to demonstrate and evaluate the achievements and proposed solutions. All tasks are designed to eliminate the "luck" factor, so teams should be carefully prepared to complete them.

Remote formula:
The teams participating in the competition will use the same equipment (Leo Rover mobile robots and UR3 robotic arm) and will be tasked with demonstrating their skills in software development, mission planning, risk management, and other soft skills.

During the preparation phase for the competition, teams receive access to 3D models and technical documentation of the equipment, the essential software, and the simulation environment to be used while working on the software. Three test runs are planned during the year where teams connect to real devices in a Competition-like configuration to test their solutions.

What are the tasks of the on-site formula?

Science Task
The task is the same both in REMOTE and ON-SITE formula. The Science task replicates the actual activities of teams operating the rovers on Mars. First, the competitors analyze the landing area based on data from the satellite (or rather the drone). On this basis, a month before the competition, they prepare a geological map, a brief description of the area's history, and a detailed plan of the mission (i.e., activities during the competition). The mission plan must contain a research hypothesis – an identified uncertainty regarding the geology of this region, which can be verified by direct observation from the rover. During the mission, the teams are tasked with making their own plan and solving the mystery they set before themselves. Additionally, their task is to find some "unusual" elements that may appear on the surface of Mars. They may not only be interesting minerals, potential deposits of valuable ores, but maybe even traces of life!

Navigation Task
The purpose of the task is to demonstrate the ability of the system to perform semi-autonomous or fully autonomous travel. The team's task is to develop a project that will gradually be transformed into a fully autonomous system that carries out the journey and collects relevant data along the way.

Probing Task
The purpose of this task is to demonstrate the ability of the system to collect and transfer samples from the rover cache to the locations selected by the teams in the Science Task. The team's task is to reach the places marked on the map, take the probes from the container on board the rover, and place them in specific locations.

Maintenance Task
The aim of this task is to demonstrate the ability of rovers to handle various elements mounted on the panel. The team must use the rover's manipulator to position switches in the required position, measure electrical parameters, set other panel elements, and observe feedback from the gauges.

Presentation Task
The teams present themselves, individual stages of the project development, and the greatest challenges they had to face during the robot's construction within a specified time. Team members must also be prepared for any questions asked by the jurors.

What are the tasks of the remote formula?

Simulation Task (performed before the livestream)
This simple task, along with an initial report, is part of the qualification process. The teams are tasked to record a short screen video (max. 2 minutes) showing: 1) Leo Rover simulation: A short drive of the Leo Rover robot through the Mars Yard environment in the Gazebo simulation - the more advanced features are shown and used, the better the result (e.g., semi-autonomous driving, remote control utilizing a controller, etc.), 2) Robot arm simulation: A short demonstration of the movement of the UR3 robot arm.

Science Task
The task is the same both in REMOTE and ON-SITE formula. The Science task replicates the actual activities of teams operating the rovers on Mars. First, the competitors analyze the landing area based on data from the satellite (or rather the drone). On this basis, a month before the competition, they prepare a geological map, a brief description of the area's history, and a detailed plan of the mission (i.e., activities during the competition). The mission plan must contain a research hypothesis – an identified uncertainty regarding the geology of this region, which can be verified by direct observation from the rover. During the mission, the teams are tasked with making their own plan and solving the mystery they set before themselves. Additionally, their task is to find some "unusual" elements that may appear on the surface of Mars. They may not only be interesting minerals, potential deposits of valuable ores, but maybe even traces of life!

Navigation Task
The aim of the navigational part of the task is to safely guide the Leo Rover through the Mars Yard, visit all checkpoints and provide them with appropriate probes.

Maintenance Task
The task focuses on remotely operating a robotic arm. The primary purpose of the task is to locate and shut down the faulty components of the device during the maintenance procedure and connect an additional sensor to the outside of the device for monitoring. The team will have to manipulate the buttons on the device's panel, insert the sensor into the housing, find the faulty component and turn it off. General requirements are to increase the difficulty of the task. ArUco markers will be mounted on each component, enabling teams and programs to recognize the appropriate components and devices.

Presentation Task
This assignment allows teams to introduce themselves and present their projects. The jury members should find out how the team worked on the project, what technical solutions were used in the rover (on-site formula) or the software (remote formula), learn about the team's approach to solving individual tasks in the competition (e.g., electromechanical design, algorithms) and how to troubleshoot problems that arose during the development of the project (which the team learned). The team should also prepare for a Q&A session and interview with the judges.