If you are a big fan of new technology or want to see what space exploration can look like nowadays, then the European Rover Challenge is definitely for you!
The European Rover Challenge (ERC) is the biggest space and robotics event in Europe, where students from universities across the whole world are competing with each other to become the best automation and robotic engineers. In this article, we'r going to take a look back at the 2021 edition of the event. Without further ado, let's get right into it ;).
ERC is a great opportunity to check your technical and analytical skills as well as innovative thinking since every team is facing a few tasks where they need to manually program our Leo Rover robot to effectively collect data, navigate through an artificial Mars land or prepare one of the most important things in the engineering world – readable and substantive documentation.
Did you know that we took part in ERC even before Leo Rover was created? Back in 2014, during the first edition of ERC, our founders participated in the competition with their Project Scorpio Team from Wrocław University of Technology. After a great fight, they achieved first place, beating the other 8 teams! Since then, our story with ERC has developed to a completely different level...
In 2020, Leo Rover joined the ERC competition as an official commercial partner. Every competing team was using a pre-built Leo Rover robot with needed documentation and support from our side to understand every hidden secret of this multifunctional machine. Then, the team’s task was to prepare the best software to stand above others in various tests and simulations like navigation to a specific waypoint on the Mars yard or looking for interesting geological terrain.
It may sound easy – but when you compete with others, every single detail matters. Before the live presentation, every team was able to check their performance on a test drive of our simulation, about which you can read here.
Leo Rover's CEO – Szymon Dzwończyk – was The Head of Jury Board during ERC 2021. It was a great achievement not only for him but also for all the people involved in Leo Rover. “I’ve been on both sides of the Challenge and can honestly say – it’s great to be back” – he said. Szymon is thrilled with new technology, and that’s why he wants to spread it as much as possible – and where else would you be able to find so many tech fans if not during the ERC event? :)
In the robotic world, you need to spend a lot of time developing a project from scratch. Every material, concept, construction – requires tons of effort, time, and money. If we want to develop faster – some solutions need to be provided first to be able to experiment with our own ideas.
At Leo Rover, we like innovation – but we also love growth. It’s simple that first you need a wheel before making a rover, or a working OS before making any software. And that’s the clue! It’s pointless to lose your attitude because of missing a few lines of code, or a few kilograms of sheet metal. That’s why we provide a complete, fully configurable, and open-source robot to let people develop new solutions for the science world! And where else would you be able to make your solutions come true if not during the Rover Challenge? You got a task and you got a robot – now it’s your turn to rise, and go down in engineer history!
Even though the ERC 2021 is long gone, you can still prepare yourself for the next year, or watch this event live at Kielce University of Technology Campus in Poland, where apart from the Rover Challenge, you can take part in various technology workshops or presentations totally free of charge! And if you are not able to be there physically – you can watch the broadcast online on Astrofaza Youtube channel. Be sure that you won’t miss anything – it’s a chance once per year to see so much attitude and passion for rovers in one place!
Do you want to see more from us? Check out our user stories here!