URC News

Mastercam Joins as Sponsor for 2022 University Rover Challenge (September 20, 2021)

The Mars Society is excited to welcome Mastercam as a sponsor of the University Rover Challenge!

Mastercam offers CAD/CAM software tools for a variety of CNC programming needs, from basic to complex. Due to their innovative, flexible solutions and top notch network of support, their software is a complete solution from the start of design through to manufacturing. Mastercam's CAD CAM software products take parts from design through to the production line. Program your manufactured parts with leading-edge features for precision and efficiency. Creating code to drive your CNC equipment is what Mastercam does best.

URC2022 Mastercam Sponsorship
Teams competing in URC2022 are eligible to receive Mastercam software to support their design and manufacturing processes! To register for your free software and support, visit https://www.mastercam.com/the-mars-society-rover-challenge.

Protocase Returns as Sponsor for 2022 University Rover Challenge (September 15, 2021)

The Mars Society is proud to welcome Protocase back as a major sponsor of the world-renowned University Rover Challenge!


All over the world, more than 16,000 engineers and designers in science and innovation depend on Protocase for custom-manufacturing electronic enclosures, sheet metal parts, machined parts and components in two to three days, with no minimum orders.


Instead of using critical design time and effort taking off-the-shelf enclosures, parts and components and modifying them fit your Mars rover design, all teams registered in the 2022 University Rover Challenge can harness Protocase's state-of-the-art manufacturing to get the exact parts they require.


URC2022 Protocase Sponsorship

The Protocase Sponsorship will be similar to the sponsorship offered in previous years:

  • Each URC team will receive $2,000 (USD) credit towards custom parts manufactured by Protocase for its Mars rover.
    Note: This $2,000 (USD) credit will NOT count towards a team's $18,000 rover budget limit (the URC Director has made the first $2,000 in sponsorship from Protocase an extension of the budget limit as outlined by Section 1.d.iii of the URC2022 Rules).

  • All teams will receive a 50% discount on all custom parts manufactured beyond the $2,000 (USD) credit.

Check out The Journey of the University Rover Challenge, which documents the experience of URC teams who worked with Protocase.


How Teams Can Work With Protocase

Once a team is registered for the 2022 University Rover Challenge, team leads or other team members can email info@protocase.com to be connected with their designated Protocase account manager.


To learn more about Protocase's custom sheet metal fabrication and CNC Machining, check out the company’s website, Proto Tech Tip videos and blog. Additional details regarding the Protocase manufacturing process and important design guidelines will be available to teams in the coming weeks.


Protocase and URC will also be teaming up again in 2022 to produce a webinar series featuring topics of interest and helpful educational topics related to URC! Stay tuned for more details.

2022 University Rover Challenge Rules Released (September 8, 2021)

The University Rover Challenge is excited to announce the release of the rules for URC2022!

Click here for the URC2022 rules

Registration for the 2022 competition will open in September, 2021, and will close on October 27, 2021. All registered teams will be required to submit a Preliminary Design Review package by December 3, 2021, and a System Acceptance Review milestone will follow on March 4, 2022. The top 36 teams will be selected to compete in the 2022 University Rover Challenge Finals, held June 1-4, 2022 at the renowned Mars Desert Research Station.

Teams and rovers will compete in 4 missions in 2021: the Science Mission, Extreme Retrieval and Delivery Mission, Equipment Servicing Mission, and Autonomous Navigation Mission. The rules for 2022 are very similar to the rules from the 2021 competition. A few of the updates include (but are not limited to):

  • During weigh-in, rovers must fit within a box that measures 1.2 m in all three dimensions (height was previously unbounded);

  • The Autonomous Navigation Mission has been updated to add increased importance to GNSS-based navigational accuracy;

  • The URC2022 Finals will feature an optional Drone Demo for aerial vehicles (this event is unscored, and imposes no impact to rover weight and budget limits).

It is important to note that URC2022 is being planned and will occur amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. At the time that the rules were published it is uncertain what the state of the pandemic will be in June, 2022 for the URC2022 Finals. As such, it is possible that the URC2022 Finals may need to be modified, or even cancelled, based on conditions at that time. Please note that the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) requires all visitors to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19! This will apply to all attendees of the URC2022 Finals, assuming that they are held. Teams should continue to monitor the URC website (including the COVID-19 page) for updates.