Manipal: Mars Rover Manipal (MRM), Manipal Institute of Technology will host the second edition of the Indian Rover Challenge, Asia’s only Rover competition backed by The Mars Society, USA from January 9 to 12, 2019 at the MIT ground here. The hosts are the winners of the inaugural competition and hope to do well this time as well. Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Limited (MRPL) is the title sponsor.
Nineteen shortlisted teams from India and abroad will take part in the IRC which will be inaugurated on January 9, 2019 at 6.30 pm at the MIT auditorium. Competition gets under way the next day. The teams were shortlisted from a list of 32 after a rigorous analysis of the System Review Reports submitted by the teams. It included a report and video on the design of the rover. Prominent teams from India include IIT Madras and VIT Chennai. Teams from Poland and Bangladesh have also confirmed their participation. Over the four days, the teams will perform four different tasks – Equipment Servicing Task, Extreme Retrieval and Delivery Task, Autonomous Task, and Science Cache Task.
The Equipment Servicing Task requires the rovers to perform a series of delivery tasks over difficult terrain and is designed to require dexterous manipulation of robotic arms. In the Extreme Retrieval and Delivery Task, the rovers traverse an increasingly difficult terrain as they perform various tasks such as delivering toolboxes and other items. The Autonomous task sees the rovers autonomously guided over the terrain with as little human intervention as possible and the final Science Cache Task focuses on the collection and analysis of soil samples to find evidence of life.
The Indian Rover Challenge (IRC) is an international rover competition that challenges students to design and build next-generation Mars rovers and compete in Mars-simulated conditions. It seeks to engage students worldwide in the next phase of space exploration. The IRC aims to ignite and encourage the spirit of innovation amongst budding engineers as they set on a quest to build a space exploration rover. The only robotics and space exploration competition of its kind in the Asia-Pacific, it is a part of the Rover Challenge Series and is backed by The Mars Society, USA.
“IRC provides a unique opportunity and is a perfect platform for budding engineers to showcase their robotics knowledge and skills. This event will surely encourage students to further research in and develop the field of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence,” said Dr. Y.S. Upadhyaya, Chairman of IRC, stressing the comprehensive character of the event. IRC provides an opportunity to apply classroom concepts in real time providing an ideal practical experience to those in the engineering field.