The Carleton Planetary Robotics Team (CPRT) consists of 80+ undergraduate students in the Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Science working together to design, program build a Mars rover to compete in international competitions.

This year, CPRT is working towards competing at the 2021 Canadian International Rover Challenge (CIRC) held in Drumheller, Alberta. Three years ago CPRT placed third at CIRC. Two years ago, the team placed 17th out of 84 teams at URC.

The Canadian International Rover Challenge is a large and growing international* Mars Rover competition and will allow the team to continue taking the next steps in innovation and robotics at Carleton.

This year CIRC has 5 tasks:

  1. Reactor Patrol Route: Traversal Task: The rover has to travel over different terrains and over obstacles to test field-ruggedness.
  2. Search & Rescue: The rover must save and evacuate the astronaut from the area, and then ensure the area is safe for human crew to continue cleanup and operation.
  3. Ponitfex Perplexus: Collaborative Task: The rover teams at the competition must work together to repair a mock system with their rovers.
  4. Land Speculation: Prospecting Task: The rover team must determine suitable habitat sites, and justify their decisions with scientific evidence.
  5. Reactor Servicing: Arm Dexterity Task: The rover must repair a mock reactor system. Using the rover’s robotic arm, the rover will perform tasks such as flipping switches, turning knobs, and carrying equipment.

The Background

CPRT is designing & building a Mars Rover to compete at the 2021 Canadian International Rover Challenge hosted in Drumheller, Alberta. This competitions are made up of over a dozen university teams from around the world.

Two years ago, the team took 17th place at URC, placing us in the top half of the teams present, and improving from last year’s 24th place! This is an exciting showcase of how much further the team has come in just one year.

This year, we need your help to get to and find success in Drumheller!  Thanks to all the generosity of the community and funds raised during our Giving Tuesday Campaign in the Fall of 2019, we have built our most advanced rover yet, which has allowed us to be accepted into two different competitions.

The Rollout

Attending CIRC in a high capacity that will allow the team to find success is both a financial and logistics challenge.  The allowable budget for the rover is a total of $20,000 USD, which does not include any travel and accommodation fees. The funding we receive will be used to help cover the costs associated with attending competitions and allowing as many team members to attend.  It is expected that it will cost at least $20,000 in order to send 17 highly skilled team members to Utah. funding raised will be used to help cover the areas of:

  • Flights: $9000
  • Accommodations: $5000
  • Transportation Rentals: $2500
  • Rover Shipping: $2500
  • Team Uniforms: $500
  • Miscellaneous Competition Supplies: $500
  • Other areas where we hope to apply funds include the purchasing of science lab equipment to further our analysis capabilities and materials to help with prototyping of next year’s rover.

The Carleton Planetary Robotics Team would greatly appreciate any financial support you can provide. Funds raised will go a long way in offsetting the costs of this project and promoting the continued success of our team.

The Impact

The Carleton Planetary Robotics team will give students invaluable experience applying skills they have learned throughout their program to address a modern real-world issue.

With over 80 members representing each of the multidisciplinary streams of engineering and design at Carleton, students will have the opportunity to travel and compete on the international stage at the 2021 Canadian International Rover Challenge. This competition is not only a once in a lifetime learning experience, but also an incredible networking opportunity that allows our students the chance to converse with peers from across the globe, as well as industry professionals from the space sector. More than this, the competition offers an opportunity for our team to showcase Carleton knowledge and talent in the fields of space and robotics, which will only encourage students to grow and improve upon their specialties.

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