Rover Design Competition Menu:
Mission - Updates - Phase I: design - Phase II: design-and-build - Rules - Contact - Other Robotics/Rovers

UKSC/SEDSIC Rover Design Competition

Phase I Winners

First place: Andrew Bacon View design slides - Watch presentation video

Second place: Angarayan Sundarakaltharan and Induja Balakrishnan. View design slides

Third place: Prabhu Hari and Karthik Thiyagarajan. View design slides

For more information see the results on the Rover Blog.

Summary

Design a small (< 15 kg) lunar rover to assist a human lunar mission.
Build and test your design in a lunar surface simulation.
Compete against other students for prizes.

The UKSC/SEDSIC Rover Design Competition is a design competition in two phases:

  1. Phase I, Conceptual Design: UK Space Conference (UKSC), 26-29 March 2008, Surrey, England (details)
  2. Phase II, Design-and-Build: SEDS International Conference (SEDSIC), 27-28 September 2008, Glasgow, Scotland (details)

You have the choice to participate in one or both phases of the competition. Students that participate in Phase I will receive a bonus score for Phase II and prizes. The top finishers in Phase I will receive additional bonus points for Phase II. The winners of Phase II will receive prizes, including a scholarship to the International Space University.

This competition is organized by UKSEDS and the American Astronautical Society.

The Mission

The purpose of the design competition is to design a miniature lunar rover that can be used to assist a human mission to the Moon in locating a suitable place to build a longterm habitat (i.e., not a lunar rover for passengers like this, but a small lunar rover like this). The Rover will accompany the human mission and have the capability to operate either autonomously or under human control. This allows data collection for potential habitat sites to be collected while humans are occupied with other tasks.

Specifications for Phase I of the design are as follows:
  • Maximum mass of 15 kg
  • Be compatible with a human lunar mission
  • Carry an imager and wireless transmitter
  • In addition to imager, must carry one payload which is used to assess a surface location for human habitation
  • All functions must be performed without physical human intervention (i.e., human intervention can be transmitted via wireless connection, but humans can not touch the rover for maintenance)
  • Must be in 'off' mode during launch and landing, and be turned on remotely after deployment on lunar surface
In your 10 pages-or-less report (see rules), you must include:
  • Information about your additional (i.e., non-imager) payload, what measurements it will collect, and why it is necessary for collecting site location data
  • Drawings of rover explaining layout of subsystems and unique features
  • Discussoin of potential problems with your design and ideas to mitigate or correct these problems. No design is perfect; if unsure about what details to include, see Richard Feynman's thoughts on scientific integrity.
  • Additional notes reserved for response to questions in rover design competition forum
Bonus points for:
  • Ability to geotag images (i.e., to assign physical coordinates) and reconstruct images on a map of the location
  • Achieving mission with lighter-than-maximum mass

The specifications for Phase II will be similar, but modified to account for the differences between the lunar environment (conceptual) and Earth environment (design-and-build). The Phase II specifications will be released after Phase I.

Updates...

To stay updated on rover competition developments, please use the following methods:

Rover Design Competition Menu:
Mission - Updates - Phase I: design - Phase II: design-and-build - Rules - Contact - Other Robotics/Rovers

Phase I: UK Space Conference

If you are unable to travel to the UK for UKSC, you can host a Phase I competition (which will give your participants Phase II bonus points) in your own region. See the following thread in the competition forums for information: link.

Timeline

  • 7 March: Abstracts due
  • 21 March: Papers due
  • 28 March: Poster presentation at UKSC

Document Submission

  1. Submit your abstract to international@seds.org.
  2. Paper submission: posted after 7 March.
Rover Design Competition Menu:
Mission - Updates - Phase I: design - Phase II: design-and-build - Rules - Contact - Other Robotics/Rovers

Phase II: SEDS International Conference

Preliminary Timeline

Rover Design Competition Menu:
Mission - Updates - Phase I: design - Phase II: design-and-build - Rules - Contact - Other Robotics/Rovers

Rules and Judging

Things change, people change. (That is, sometimes we make big mistakes and need to fix them quickly.) Join the rovers@seds.org email list to be notified of any changes to the rules.

Rules for Phase I

  • Up to three students may be on a team. Teams may communicate with each other for assistance during the design, but all submissions must be original work. (This may change for Phase II; we'll let you know.)
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • All participants must verify that they are fulltime students.
  • Maximum number of words for the abstract is 200 words.
  • Maximum document length: 10 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font (Arial or Times New Roman). (There is no minimum length.) Document paper size must be A4 or letter (8.5" x 11") size.
  • Documents must be submitted as either Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. PDF is greatly preferred.
  • Specifications for the UKSC display posters are not yet defined.

Judging

The design report will be judged by a team consisting of professional engineers, scientists, and academic faculty who are members of the American Astronautical Society and alumni of the International Space University. There are three criteria:
  1. Technical merit (50%). Describe all assumptions used in the design. Use technical references such as journals, and accurately cite all sources. Understanding of physical and engineering principles should be evident in the design. Designs must identify environmental constraints encountered on the lunar surface and solutions to survive within these constraints.
  2. Creativity (30%). Special consideration will be given to unique -- but feasible -- solutions. Consider how the data from the rovers will be used.
  3. Presentation (20%).
    • Half (10% of total) will be allocated to the written paper. References will be made in the Harvard referencing style. Figures should be used to illustrate the design. The paper must be well organized. (If you need help with English, please ask for help on SEDS Forums.)
    • Half (10% of total) will be allocated to the on-site presentation at the conference. Only the top papers will be selected to present at the conference. (Thus, it is not necessary to be present at the conference to win the prize, but you will be ineligible for this 10%.)
Rover Design Competition Menu:
Mission - Updates - Phase I: design - Phase II: design-and-build - Rules - Contact - Other Robotics/Rovers

Contact Information

If you have any questions, please visit the Rover Design Competition Forum, or you can email international@seds.org.
Rover Design Competition Menu:
Mission - Updates - Phase I: design - Phase II: design-and-build - Rules - Contact - Other Robotics/Rovers

Other Robotics/Rover Competitions

See also the results of the 2007 SEDSIC Rover Design Competition. If you like rovers, we recommend that you participate in these other robotics and rover competitions:

SEDS-Earth Communication

Join the SEDS-Earth email list:

SEDSIC Communication

Join the SEDSIC email list: