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University Rover Challenge (URC 2019)

“The University Rover Challenge (URC) by the Mars Society is a robotics competition for university level students that challenges teams to design and build a rover that would be of use to early explorers on Mars.”

The competition is held annually at the Mars Desert Research Station, outside Hanksville, Utah in the United States. The site was selected by the Mars Society for its geographic similarity to Mars: In addition to being a largely barren desert area, the soil in the area has a chemical composition similar to Martian soil. The competition has also expanded internationally to include the European Rover ChallengeCanadian International Rover Challenge, and the Indian Rover Challenge as part of the Rover Challenge Series. [5]


The University Rover Challenge (URC) is the world’s premier robotics competition for college students. Held annually in the desert of southern Utah in the United States. URC challenges student teams to design and build the next generation of Mars rovers that will one day work alongside astronauts exploring the Red Planet. [6]

Our team had 15 members including Syed Md. Anwarul Islam, an Electrical and Electronic Engineering graduate student of American International University – Bangladesh. The rest of the team members were 14 undergraduate students from the Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering department. The team Advisor was Ahmed Mortuza Saleque Saikat. We had 4 sections in our team. Mechanical, Electrical, Software and Science. I was the team member of Mechanical Crew. My was the specialties of the Robotic Arm and Suspension system including on-field servicing.

AIUB Robotic Crew 2019 had started the journey by modifying the previous year’s rover mechanical structure. Being a rocker-bogie type, the rover shows excellent qualities, ideal for traversing on rough terrains. Six legs being always in contact with the ground ensures that the rover has less chance of getting turned over at rocky surface sharp inclines. The rover arm had 6 degrees of freedom, due to the uniqueness of the design, an infinite rotation of 360 degrees is possible for the claw and the arm knobs more dexterous to deal with complex tasks without drawbacks of getting hurled up on wires. [7]

The software system onboard the rover used a processor as the main server to receive commands and send videos feedback to base station. During autonomous traversing, the rover takes GPS coordinates as input, by doing several trails and error process it can reach to the given coordinates with 98% precision. The software system on board the rover uses NUC as the main server to receive commands and send video feedback to the base station. The rover takes GPS coordinates as input for navigation and image processing to detect markers for the autonomous traversal Task. [8]

AIUB Robotic Crew (ARC) stood 18th in the world, 4th among the Asian teams and top scorer between the two teams from Bangladesh. AIUB Robotic Crew’s proud achievements have been covered by major Newspaper and News portals of the country. A feature on AIUB Robotic Crew’s Participation in the finals of 2019 World University Rover Challenge was published in the QS (WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKING) WOW_NEWS, August-October 2019 Issue No. 34.P.28. This is quarterly newsletter that features universities academic achievement, experience and developments that are extraordinary, outstanding and unique. The System Acceptance Review (SAR) video is given below.