24.01.2020 change 24.01.2020

Mars-elous! Space Ace Teams from Kraków and Warsaw take 1st and 2nd Place at International Mars Rover Comp in India

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Students from Kraków have taken first place in the International Mars Rover competition in India.

The team from AGH Space Systems at the AGH University of Science and Technology (AGH UST) in Kraków beat off competition from 20 teams from around the world to win the Indian Rover Challenge with their Kalman rover, with the University of Warsaw Rover Team coming second.

The Indian Rover Challenge is part of the Rover Challenge Series, the most prestigious robotic competition in the world organized by the Mars Society. This is the only competition of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region. This year`s edition took place at the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) in Chennai.

The rover from AGH UST was evaluated in four categories: searching for and delivering selected items, manipulator operation, autonomous navigation and soil sample analysis.

In the last task, Kalman used a specially prepared module enabling quick material testing on the spot. The rover also managed to open locks, connect power supply and move a toolbox.

In the autonomous operation competition, Kalman proved its worth by moving in unknown terrain without support. New vision systems also helped it find tools left by an astronaut among sand dunes and deliver them to designated locations.

According to AGH spokesman Anna Żmuda-Muszyńska, students from Kraków spent 3.5 years improving the rover. This year`s triumph was preceded by other successes, including second place in the Indian Rover Challenge in 2019 and second place in the European Rover Challenge in September 2019.

Two other Polish teams also made the top 20 with Rzeszów University of Technology’s Legendary Rover taking 16th place and Wrocław University of Technology taking 20th with their new rover from the Scorpio family.

The AGH Space Systems team has been active since 2014. It specialises in the development of space industry technologies, in particular the construction of rockets, satellites, space probes and Mars rovers. The winning team will return to Poland next week.

(PAP)

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