Polish students win world’s largest Mars rover competition

A Polish team’s rover proved to be the best in the competition in India at completing advanced tasks on a simulated Mars terrain

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Polskie Radio 3
Source: AGH Space Systems/FB

A Polish team representing the AGH University of Science and Technology from Kraków won the International Rover Challenge 2023. Polish students defeated 17 teams from across the world in the challenge, which ran in Bangalore, India.

“Our hard work produced the desired results, and now we can fully enjoy our victory. We always put our hearts into our projects; however, without support we would not have been able to achieve such a result,” said members of AGH team Space Systems in a statement.

The Polish team stated that their rover had to pass multiple test such as collecting soil samples for analyses that were then examined for life forms. AGH students implemented a neural network 3D mapping system, fully rebuilt the on-board lab, and adapted the shape of a robot gripper in order to succeed in the competition.

One of the next tasks was to operate a specialized panel and place an object in a designated area. Operators could only use the video feeds from cameras placed on the rover. They also had to find objects placed on a terrain simulating the surface of Mars, and then precisely place them in spots selected by the judges.

The rover also needed to be programmed in order to recognize directions shown by arrows to reach the next arrow while also avoiding obstacles.

The victorious team gave a presentation in which it showcased engineering solutions and ideas for the planetary robot’s commercialization, “assuming that the colonization of the Red Planet had already begun.”

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