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Applications open for the 2018 edition of the Exo-RO National Rover Competition

on 28 September 2018

Between 28 November – 2 December 2018, the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), in synergy with the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) Romania, and with the support of local organisers Banat IT, the West University of Timisoara and the Educational Centre ”Aquapic", is organising the Exo-RO National Rover Competition for high school students. The project is meant to attract young people towards the space field and to contribute to developing their professional skills.

After exploring the muddy volcanoes and the underground environment, the national rover competition returns, this time with an aquatic theme. The 2018 edition will take place in Timisoara and will focus on exploiting the habitat of an environment where large amounts of water are found.

As exploration robots of an exoplanet, rovers will have confined dimensions (maximum mass of 2.5 kg and maximum linear dimensions of 40cm x 30cm x 20cm). The rovers will have to be maneuverered through a basin filled with water with a level of maximum 5 cm and must be equipped to perform two planetary exploration missions.

The main scientific mission — mandatory for each team — is to guide the rover to a fixed point by remote control, not taking into account the time gap that would actually exist between the location explored and the control centre, measuring some parameters (atmospheric pressure and the temperature of the environment) and transmitting images.

The secondary scientific mission is at the choice of each team and may consist of collecting samples, measuring other local parameters using on board sensors (atmospheric composition, lighting level, gas concentration, pH, radiation etc.) in order to determine habitability for human beings and the potential existence of local life forms.

The Exo-RO Rover Competition is open for students attending classes at educational institutions in Romania with ages between 14 – 19. The contest is open only for mixed teams of 3 to 4 students, from the same institution, under the coordination of a teacher or instructor. The deadline to register is 14 October 2018, 23:59, and the registration can be done by filling in a form available online here. The form will be sent online at exo-ro at rosa.ro.

By participating in this competition, student teams will have the opportunity to take part in all the typical phases of a robotics project, from selecting objectives, designing and integrating components to testing the system in the end. As a result of this process, the participants will learn hands-on and familiarise themselves with the scientific research methodology, acquire new concepts, deepen or strengthen knowledge of technology and programming, learn the importance of coordination and teamwork and, last but not least, they will improve their communication skills.

The calendar of the 2018 Exo-RO National Rover Competition:

  • Start of the competition: 26 September 2018
  • The submission period of the proposal: 26 September – 14 October 2018
  • The evaluation of the proposal: 15 – 17 October 2018
  • Publishing the names of the finalist teams on the ROSA website: 18 October 2018
  • Building the rovers: 18 October – 27 November 2018
  • The final: 28 November -– 2 December 2018

The rules of the competition can be accessed here.

Image credit: ROSA