October 1, 2022

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Już za tydzień, na terenie Politechniki Świętokrzyskiej w Kielcach odbędzie się finał 8. edycji European Rover Challenge. Z blisko 100 zespołów, które startowały do tegorocznych zawodów, do ścisłego finału zakwalifikowało się łącznie 30 drużyn z 10 krajów Europy, Afryki, Azji oraz Ameryki Północnej. 19 drużyn pojawi się w Kielcach z własnym łazikiem, by spróbować swoich sił w stacjonarnej formule zawodów. 11 zespołów weźmie udział w formule zdalnej, z dowolnego miejsca na świecie będą sterować łazikiem poruszającym się po kieleckim torze z pomocą specjalnego internetowego interfejsu.

Mars wanders on a path filled with traces of fire, ice and water

In a week, at the Kelsey University of Technology, the final version of the eighth edition of the European Rover Challenge will take place. Of the nearly 100 teams that participated in this year’s competition, a total of 30 teams from 10 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America qualified for the finals. 19 teams will appear in Kelsey in their Rover to try out the fixed formula for competition. Eleven teams will participate in the formula remotely, and from anywhere in the world they will control the rover on the Kielce track with the help of a special online interface.

In the ON-SITE format, teams of students from around the world prepare fully functional Mars rovers of their own design. The rover must be an independent and mobile unit. All the teams that pass the qualification will compete on the artificial Mars Track in Poland, performing many challenging missions.

Teams participating in the REMOTE formula will use the same equipment (the Leo Rover and the UR robotic arm) with which they will remotely connect via the Internet from anywhere on Earth. The winner of the competition will be the team that reliably prepares the software needed to carry out the mission and will be effective in managing the team, responding to critical situations and managing change.

In setting the course, the ERC science team attempts to raise the bar for competitors each year, while ensuring that the geological environment on the Red Planet’s surface is recreated as realistically as possible. “In our Mars Arena, we present the processes that shape the landscape of Mars: we create a complex geological puzzle of many impact craters, sand dunes, dry river valleys, and various volcanic forms that only a few people can solve. To complicate the situation even more absurdly, the Mars Arena Ours varies every year and represents a different region of the Red Planet” – says Dr. Anna Kosiak, planetary geologist, and chief designer of the ERC Mars Path.

Volcanoes, craters and caves. What traps await the Mars rover?

Volcanoes, craters and caves.  What traps await the Mars rover?

What can participants in the European Rover Challenge this year expect? Surely there will be a lot of smoke and erupting volcanoes. The region in which the robot is traveling is a faithfully reproduced field on the border between the great volcanic province of Elysium and the northern plains of Mars. Research clearly shows that there was an ocean in these plains. So if the teams were around, I’d be ready to ride the rover on terrain shaped by fire and ice. Who knows, maybe the robots will find a trace of water on Mars? – says Dr. osiak.

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The final edition of the 8th European Rover Challenge will take place from 9-11 September 2022 at Kielcee University of Technology. Co-organizers of this year’s ERC are the European Space Foundation, the Kielce University of Technology and the Świętokrzyskie County Marshal’s Office. The city of Kelsey plays host to the event. The event was held under the honorary sponsorship of the European Space Agency, the International Astronautical Federation and the Federation of Aerospace Industry.

Supporting partners are: US Consulate in Krakow, United Nations in Vienna, Peace Patrol and Pyramid Games. The award sponsors are Mastercam and Occupy Mars: The Game. The event partners are: Polish Space Agency, European Union Space Program Agency (EUSPA), International Space University (ISU), MathWorks, Polish Space Professionals Association (PSPA), Mars Society of Poland, Pozna University of Technology, Kell Ideas (Leo Rover) and University of Kozminski and Freedom Robotics.

The event was sponsored by the media: RMF, Nauka w Polsce (PAP), My Company Polska, Space24, kosmonauta.net, SpaceWatch.global, Astrophase, Polish Science Fantasy Foundation, Naukowo TV and Crazy Nauka. The project was co-financed by the “Social Responsibility of Science” program of the Minister of Education and Science. Admission to ERC 2022 is free. Fans from all over the world can join the Egyptian Red Crescent through broadcasting and live coverage on social media.

All information about the event can be found at: www.roverchallenge.eu