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First Day of Excitement Kicks Off 2016 University Rover Challenge

posted Jun 2, 2016, 5:30 PM by Kevin Sloan

The tenth annual rendition of the University Rover Challenge (URC) featured an exciting Semi-Finals round of competition on Thursday, June 2 at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah.  The international robotics competition for college students, which is part of the Rover Challenge Series, features an elite field of teams vying to build the world’s best student-build Mars rover.

The Semi-Finals round of competition is a new feature for URC.  Teams were required to compete in a short 5 minute obstacle course that challenged their ability traverse complex obstacles, perform various manipulation tasks, and demonstrate their scientific knowledge.  The fast-paced action was exciting for students and judges, with teams each having 3 attempts at the course.

The top half of competing teams will advance to the Ares Finals over the next two days, where they will compete in four Mars exploration-focused tasks.  The remaining teams advance to the Phobos Finals, which features two unique tasks that will challenge the diverse systems.

Ares Finalists (Listed in order based on Semi-Finals points earned)

#1: Legendary Rover Team (84)

#2: WSU Everett Engineering Club (76)

#3: Michigan Mars Rover Team (76)

#4: #next team (73)

#5: Continuum (72)

#6: Cornell Mars Rover (67)

#7: Pharaohs (63)

#8: Project Pioneer (63)

#9: Queen’s Space Engineering Team (49)

#10: Raptors (49)

#11: Robotics for Space Exploration (48)

#12: RUDRA (48)

#13: Mars Rover Manipal (48)

#14: PCz Rover Team (48)

Phobos Finalists (Listed in order based on Semi-Finals points earned)

#1: Interplanetar (43)

#2: Yale Undergraduate Rover Association (43)

#3: Husky Robotics Team (43)

#4: Mars Rover Design Team (38)

#5: McGill Robotics (34)

#6: Project Scorpio (29)

#7: AIUB Robotic Crew (28)

#8: MAVRIC (23)

#9: SJSU Robotics (23)

#10: ROVATA (22)

#11: Titan Rover (18)

#12: SKA Robotics (4)

#13: Wisconsin Robotics (2)

#14: University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team (0)

IUT Mars Rover and KMC Robo Physicists also qualified to attend URC, but are unable to compete. 

The Ares and Phobos Finals will take place on Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4.  Updates are available at http://urc.marssociety.org, on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/universityroverchallenge), and on Twitter (https://twitter.com/URConMars).