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). For the first time in history, teams compete in two formulas: ON-SITE and REMOTE. The teams present in Kielce will use the rover they have designed to face tasks modeled on actual Martian missions. Competitors taking part in the remote formula will 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 will have a theme. On Friday, September 10, 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. This year’s edition of the event will end with talks on space technologies on Earth and the successes of Polish and foreign companies in this field. The speakers will include experts from global organizations and national representatives of the space sector. During the event, there will also be an e-tournament organized by Pyramid Games, in which participants will demonstrate their skills in repairing virtual rovers in Rover Mechanic Simulator.

What is the ERC about? Full list of ERC2021 competition tasks, prizes

What will happen during the #ERC2021? List of attractions

Meet the exhibitors, speakers and special guests of the #ERC2021

Rover Mechanic Challenge e-tournament

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)  |  LIST OF TEAMS TAKING PART IN THE #ERC2021

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Will the event take place on-site?

Yes! We invite you to visit this year's edition of the ERC at the Kielce University of Technology Campus. There will be plenty of attractions waiting for you on September 10-12, 2021! See live Mars rovers from all over the world! In addition, on-site in the Inspiration Zone, you will meet many exhibitors who will spark your interest in space and new technologies. You will be able to listen to speeches and lectures, participate in workshops and see scientific demonstrations. Everyone will find something for themselves!

Will it be possible to watch the competition via the Internet?

Yes! The entire event (10–12/09/2021) will be broadcast on our website in the "Spectator Zone" tab. The broadcast will be hosted by Astrofaza. During the broadcast, you will see how teams from around the world compete on a special Marsyard in Kielce, and you will find out what the exhibitors in the Inspiration Zone have prepared for our viewers.

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 ERC2021 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.

What are the prizes of the #ERC2021 competition?

The main prize in the ON-SITE formula is a 2500 USD voucher. The sponsor of the award is Astronika

The main prize in the REMOTE formula is a 1250 USD voucher. The sponsor of the award is GMV

What is the Rover Mechanic Challenge e-tournament?

𝗘𝗥𝗖 𝗥𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗠𝗲𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗰 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗲 is an e-tournament, during which players compete to repair Martian rovers as quickly as possible in a special version of Rover Mechanic Simulator created in cooperation between Pyramid Games and European Rover Challenge 2021.

About the competition: After closing the registration, random tournament ladder will be created, including all the registered participants. The matches will be played in the single elimination system and each one will include from 2 to 4 players – the number of players depends on the number of participants. Participants will be given a contest task – tasks will be randomly selected for the participants depending on the game starting time. Their goal is to complete the task as quickly as possible (repair the Martian rover to the condition required in a given task) in each of the 4 rounds with the lowest resource consumption possible. The ranking list will be created on the basis of the scores obtained during the game. Depending on the results, every match will end with an elimination of one player, while the others will progress to the next round.

Prizes: The main prize: The participant occupying the first position wins the ability to remotely control the rover on MarsYard after the end of the ERC competition for a maximum of 60 minutes via the Internet. More information about competition and prizes can be found in the OFFICIAL RULES.

ERC Rover Mechanic Challenge Schedule: The contest will be held during the ERC 2021, on 10th–2th September 2021. Detailed information regarding the tournament, including detailed schedule, as well as rankings and scoreboards will be published on a special Discord channel dedicated to the event and sent to players via email provided during the registration. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to participate in the competition as a Player to take part in the event. Our Discord server is open – if you’d like to observe the competition, all you need to do is join our Discord server here and find the RMC channel: LINK

TEAMS IN THE FINALS

European Rover Challenge 2021

Bangladesh

Team Interplanetar

Formula

REMOTE

University

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)

Bangladesh

IUT Mars Rover

Formula

REMOTE

University

Islamic University of Technology (IUT)

Czech Republic

RoverOva

Formula

ON-SITE

University

VŠB-TU of Ostrava

Egypt

Mind Cloud

Formula

ON-SITE

University

Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University

India

TEAM ASTRA

Formula

REMOTE

University

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

India

Team Anveshak

Formula

REMOTE

University

Indian Institute of Technology Madras

India

DJS Antariksh

Formula

REMOTE

University

Dwarkadas J. Sanghvi College of Engineering

India

Mars Rover Manipal

Formula

REMOTE

University

Manipal Academy of Higher Education

India

Team Robocon IIT Roorkee

Formula

REMOTE

University

Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee

Germany

STAR Dresden e.V.

Formula

ON-SITE

University

Technische Universität Dresden

Germany

ERIG

Formula

REMOTE

University

Technische Universität Braunschweig

Italy

DIANA

Formula

ON-SITE

University

Politecnico di Torino

Italy

Project Red

Formula

REMOTE

University

Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

Italy

Alma-X

Formula

REMOTE

University

UNIBO – University of Bologna

Poland

AGH Space Systems

Formula

ON-SITE

University

AGH University of Science and Technology

Poland

Legendary Rover Team

Formula

ON-SITE

University

Rzeszow University of Technology

Poland

Continuum

Formula

REMOTE

University

University of Wroclaw

Poland

KNR Rover Team

Formula

ON-SITE

University

Politechnika Warszawska

Poland

Impuls Team

Formula

ON-SITE

University

Kielce University of Technology

Poland

SKA Robotics

Formula

ON-SITE

University

Warsaw University of Technology

Spain

UPC Space Program

Formula

ON-SITE

University

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Switzerland

EPFL Xplore

Formula

ON-SITE

University

EPFL (école polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne)

Turkey

GTU ROVER

Formula

REMOTE & ON-SITE

University

Gebze Technical University

Turkey

METU ROVER

Formula

REMOTE & ON-SITE

University

Middle East Technical University

Turkey

ITU Rover Team

Formula

ON-SITE

University

Istanbul Technical University

Turkey

Red Giant Rover

Formula

ON-SITE

University

Konya Technical University

Turkey

OzU Rover Team

Formula

REMOTE

University

Özyeğin University

UK

RoboClyde

Formula

REMOTE

University

University of Strathclyde