QSET competed in the URC (University Rover Challenge) this Summer. URC is an annual competition for university teams to design and build a mars rover prototype to compete in Utah. 104 teams applied from around the world and 37 were selected to travel to Utah and compete in person.
QSET placed 1st in Canada and 7th in the world, which is the best percentile position we’ve ever achieved in the history of us attending URC (we’ve attended every year since its creation).
Competition holds four challenges that the teams are scored on. First, we competed in the extreme delivery challenge where rovers are required to traverse difficult terrain, locate a rock, and deliver it to an astronaut in need of our assistance. Upon successful retrieval and delivery, the rover must collect another tool and deliver it to an astronaut within a small valley.
Next, we competed in the science task where the rover needed to collect three soil samples at a site and carefully stow them within the chassis for chemical testing. Using our onboard microscope, we identified 3 rocks. All the testing and classification of rocks went into a presentation to the judges that explained whether we thought there was life in the area.
Our third task was the equipment servicing task where the rover performed dexterous tasks on a mock spaceship. The onboard robotic arm QSET developed was used in this task and can be seen in one of the pictures attached.
Finally, we did the autonomous navigation task where we hit a button and the rover finds three GPS locations and uses machine vision to drive to three more locations that are marked by ARUCO tags (similar to QR codes).
General QSET stuff:
QSET is a great way to get involved in hands on engineering and you can learn a lot of things that wouldn’t be taught in class. Everybody on the team is extremely friendly and it’s full of people who are willing to teach new members valuable skills. There’s a place for every type of person on QSET, ranging from electrical to mechanical to non-technical things such as media. It’s also very easy to join since all applicants get in. You just have to show up to the meetings and have a genuine interest! Those who apply themselves and contribute to the rover may get invited to come to competition which is also a great opportunity for learning!