University Rover Challenge
The annual University Rover Challenge is hosted by the Mars Society and sponsored by The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC). The Competition focuses on the design of rovers to accomplish tasks mimicking the requirements of actual Rovers on Mars. Over 60 teams worldwide build their unique rovers and compete in the deserts of Utah.
Each team builds a Rover capable of completing tasks such a navigation through desert terrain, collecting targets to be transferred to predetermined locations, digging of dirt and identification of chemical markers and many more. The Rover would be controlled from a remote location outside the reach of the controlling team. Some of the tasks also require a dexterous arm which adds additional complexity to the competition. For the 2017 competition, the UW Robotics team is working on a new, fully re-designed rover. It will feature some new technology the team has been prototyping over the years, including a custom BMS (Battery Management System) and a independent science module.
International Autonomous Robot Racing Challenge
Robot racing focuses on developing racing robots to compete in the International Autonomous Robot Racing Competition (IARRC). Teams build fully autonomous, RC car sized vehicles that participates in drag and circuit races. The competition provides students with the opportunity to gain mechanical and electrical skills while getting hands on experience with algorithm design and software development in autonomous driving applications.
The UW Robotics team has had great success in this competition in the past. We won 1st place in 2015, 2nd place in 2014, and 1st place in 2011.
UWRT (left) and CMS (right) preparing for a drag race.