Success of Poles at the European Rover Challenge in Starachowice
The fourth edition of the international robotics competition is over. The European Rover Challenge turned out to be record-breaking in many ways this year: more than 400 constructors from six continents, prominent icons of global astronautics in one place, crowds of visitors, and the largest Science and Technology Demonstration Zone in the history of the ERC.
For the finalo35 teams qualified for the European Rover Challengeow from 20 countriesoin the world, whichore worked hard for several months to prepare a fully functional Martian robot, built on the pattern of theor of the Curiosity vehicle already present on Mars or the ExoMars robot due to arrive there in two years’ time. During the ERC, participants took part in four field competitions ktohe goal was to comprehensively demonstrate the capabilities of the created Martian robot and its remote navigation.
The competition took place under the experienced eye of a record number of jurorsow – as many as thirteen engineers of theoin and geologicoin the planetary field from leading Polish and global space companies tracked every movement of the roboticoin the Martian field. The best was this year’s teamol Impulse from the Swietokrzyska University of Technology, just behind it on the podium were competitors from Lodz (Raptors from the Technical University of loThe first place went to the Canadian Robotics for Space Exploration team from the University of Toronto), and third place went to the Canadian Robotics for Space Exploration team from the University of Toronto. During the closing ceremony, the roalso wyroThe jury is out, and it went to the Czech RoverOva of the University of Ostrava– team, ktora made its ERC debut this year.
– The European Rover Challenge is developing from edition to edition, and what makes us exceptionally happy is that in this development we are partnered by roalso the teams taking part in the competition. The fact that the Holy Cross University of Technology, ktora in the previous edition took second place, this year proved unrivaled is the best example illustrating what the ERC is – To paraphrase the words of Neil Armstrong – A great step towards a space career – mowi lukasz Wilczyński, president of the European Space Foundation, initiator and organizer of the event.
As part of the head prizeowna, the winners of this year’s European Rover Challenge will have the opportunity to participate in the prestigious AMADEE-2020 analog mission, organized by the Austrian Space Forum on Pohe Arabian Peninsula in 2020. The robot of the Kielce Impulse team became the official rover of this mission, while team members will be included in a full series of field missions in the Mars simulation. Head prizeoThe winning team was presented with the prize during the closing ceremony by Willibald Stumptner – Director of the Austrian Space Forum, responsible for the AMADEE-2020 mission. In addition, the teams thatore stood on the podium received roalso won cash and in-kind prizes.
The success was achieved by the roalso – introduced this year by the organizer of theow – PRO formula. For the first time in the history of the European Rover Challenge, professional constructors of robotoIn the Martian they were able to come to the site of the competitionow and not participating in the competition take advantage of the Martian field infrastructure to see how their designs behave in conditions similar to those on the Red Planet. It was also an ideal opportunity to meet on site such icons of world astronautics as Gianfranco Visentin, Maria Antonietta Perino, Dr. Robert Zubrin and Artemis Westenberg.
In this year’s edition – As in all previous – hugely popular were meetings with special guests. Tim Peake lecture’and about its pohe year-long stay on the International Space Station attracted hundreds of listeners, including many of the youngest, whooers were not afraid to ask the guest questions after the meeting. British astronaut met roAlso with the competitors and praised them for upor, passion and ambitious pursuit of a goal.
– To all whoowho made it to the ERC finals are to be applauded for their hard work, whichorą they performed to moc to appear here and take part in the competition. With your innovative ideas and perseverance, you are setting new frontiers in development every day, and it is roalso the best definition of what we do in the space industry on a daily basis – Tim Peake said.
The fourth edition of the ERC attracted a huge number of visitors. In the Show Zoneoat the Science and Technology Center, they could take part in rocket-building workshops, see Martian robots up close and walk around in an astronaut suit. Waiting for them roalso an exhibition of the MARS 2030 space base, a demonstration of a self-parking car and a drone flight simulation. There was also a lot of interest – organized for the first time in this edition – competition for the public, in whichoThe participants, controlling small earth rovers remotely, had to overcome a course with obstacles. For the winneroin these mini competitionsow were waiting for Tim Peake’s books’a "Ask an astronaut" with author’s signature.