The rundown

The Carleton Planetary Robotics Team (CPRT) consists of 50+ 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, the CPRT is working towards competing at the 2018 University Rover Challenge hosted in Hanksville, Utah at the Mars Desert Research Station, the 2018 Canadian International Rover Challenge hosted in Drumheller, Alberta, and the 2018 European Rover Challenge in Poland. The University Rover Challenge is the largest international Mars Rover competition in the world and will allow the team to continue taking the next steps in innovation and robotics at Carleton.

The URC has four main tasks:
1. Autonomous Terrain Traversing: The rover has to autonomously travel over different terrains and over obstacles to test field-ruggedness.
2. Astronaut Assistance: The team is given GPS coordinates to different locations in the field where tools are that need to be collected by the rover and delivered to “astronauts”.
3. Science Survey: A geological survey must be done by the rover by collecting a soil sample, performing on-board measurements, and take several photos of the sample site.
4. Equipment Servicing: Using the rover’s robotic arm, the rover must perform tasks such as flipping switches, turning knobs, and carrying equipment.

Background

The CPRT is designing & building a Mars Rover to compete at the 2018 University Rover Challenge hosted in Hanksville, Utah at the Mars Desert Research Station, the 2018 Canadian International Rover Challenge hosted in Drumheller, Alberta, and the 2018 European Rover Challenge in Poland. These competitions are made up of over 30 university teams from around the world.

Last year, the team competed in our second ever competition, the inaugural Canadian International Rover Challenge, where the team walked away with a 2nd place finish! This was an amazing experience for many new and senior members of the team to travel across the country and represent Canada on our home soil.

This year, we need your help to get to Utah, Drumheller, and Poland! With funds raised, we hope to offset the student costs associated with materials, uniforms, travel, and accommodation, and allow deserving students the chance to participate in the competition regardless of financial constraints.

Rollout

The cost of competing in the University Rover Challenge is high. The allowable budget for the rover is a total of $17,500 USD, which does not include any travel and accommodation fees. The funding we receive will be used to cover expenses such as:
Materials for manufacture: $1500
Sensors and electronic components for testing and integration: $3000
Team uniforms: $500
Travel and accommodation: $6000+
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.

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 30 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 2017 University 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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