Australian Rover Challenge

For the first time in Australia, the global challenge to design and build a rover to compete in a full-scale simulated lunar mission came to the University of Adelaide campus.

Thank you to everyone who attended, participated and sponsored this exciting event.

Australian Rover Challenge 2022

Interested in participating in next year's Australian Rover Challenge at the University of Adelaide?

Challenge rules, task specifications, schedules and new team registrations will be available May 2021.

2021 team results

Find out the exciting results from the 2021 challenge.

READ THE STORY

The University of Adelaide, in partnership with the South Australian Space Industry Centre (SASIC), supported by the Australian Space Agency and the SmartSAT CRC are excited to host this inaugural Australian Rover Challenge (ARC).

The competition is a new addition to the University Rover Challenge series run in America, Canada, Europe and India.

Post-landing task

Your Rover has just landed on the surface of the Moon. Your team is now required to execute a task list to work towards establishing a remote mining operation. Tasks include: conduct a systems check on the lander and relay any damage to the judges, navigate to and find the location of the Supply Cache while traversing obstacles and drops, and initiate start-up protocol.

Lunar resources task

Rovers will conduct in-situ resource ​identification ​and ​extraction​, investigating up to three potential sample sites to determine if frozen water is present in the samples and, if so, to what extent. The Rover will then need to return a sample to the processing plant.

Lunar Construction task

Use your Rover to interact and alter the local Lunar environment using construction bricks to support the mission goal of establishing a surface mining outpost in preparation for permanent Human settlement.

Sensor / Semi-autonomous task

This task demonstrates the Rover’s ability for semi- to fully-autonomous traversal. All planning and estimation operations must be done by the Rover through smart navigation strategy, sensor fusion and image data processing in order to reach a series of checkpoints.

Meet the teams

Meet the challengers for the inaugural Australian Rover Challenge. Click on the teams below to find out more about why they have joined the competition and to learn more about their rovers.

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  • The University of Adelaide

    University of Adelaide team for the Australian Rover Challenge

    Rover name: Lil' Gaz

    Key members: 
    Henry Mellor – team lead
    Lachlan Holden – technical lead
    Abigail Sparnon
    Natasha Moy
    Bailey Coates
    Dasuni Jayawickrama
    Georgia Dallimore
    Martin Gallo
    Moaz Idris
    Mohammad Saad
    Ryan Campbell
    Sophie Ljubicic
    Vishwajit Pillay

    University of Adelaide ARC Rover for the Australian Rover Challenge

    We are a multidisciplinary team of student engineers, mathematicians and scientists coming together to design a device that is not only fun and complex, but highly relevant to current and near-future missions. Our design takes some inspiration from NASA’s Perseverance rover – namely the rocker-bogie suspension system – while adding our own flairs to the robotic arm and chassis. For many of us, this challenge provides a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable practical experience, whilst also putting a foot in the door for some of us to join Australia’s growing space program.

    Of the 4 challenges, we are most looking forward to the Lunar Construction Task, where we will be able to build sturdy structures with our 6 degrees of freedom robotic arm. The precision and strength of the arm will allow us to build these structures without too much difficulty.

    If you could take your Rover to an extra-terrestrial body, which one would you choose and why? 

    Mars. Compared to the moon, it has stronger gravity, which enables better traction. The atmosphere on Mars means that the temperature variation is less than on the moon, which will put less thermal stress on the rover’s systems, theoretically increasing mission duration. Other major celestial bodies are either too hot or are gas giants – conditions that are unsuitable for our rover.

  • University of New South Wales

    Team from UNSW for the Australian Rover Challenge

    Rover name: Wallaby

    Key members: 
    Dan Nyugen – Mech/Software Team Lead
    Nickola Medimurac – Software Team Lead + Internal Laison
    Billy Ballico – Software/Mech Team Lead + Competition Laison
    Aaron Lucas – Embedded/Electrical Team/Telecomms Team Lead + Secretary
    Barry Feng – Robotic Arm Team lead
    Andy Pham – In-Situ resource utilisation Team Lead
    Raymond Wenyika – Logistics Officer
    Hikari Hashida – Public Relations Officer
    Nafisa Yashfee – Sponsorship Officer
    And of course all our hardworking team members.

    UNSW Robot render

    Offworld Robotics is a student project from UNSW competing with a rocker bogey-based rover complete with Autonomous navigation abilities and lightweight 3d printed design.

    This year OWR has an almost entirely new set of members who are excited to prove themselves as engineers, as well as improving on previous teams' work.

    OWR has a large software team that is keen to write algorithms to solve complex problems like the Sensor Task, and equally the lunar resources task is especially exciting for our almost all engineering team, since chemical analysis isn't typically within the job description of a mechanical or software engineer.

    If you could take your Rover to an extra-terrestrial body, which one would you choose and why? 

    If OWR could take the rover to any extra-terrestrial body, we would take it to the Ice moon of Jupiter Europa to explore its water vapor plumes for signs of life.

  • RMIT

    RMIT Rover team for the Australian Rover Challenge at the University of Adelaide

    Rover name: Eve

    Key members: 
    Monica Phongsavath (Project Leader)
    Robin Nguyen (Lead Engineer)

    RMIT Rover render

    We’re really excited to see our first ever Rover come together after the year that has been.

    For the longest time, our team had worked with each other without even meeting each other (shout out to our old leads Max and Sebastian keeping us together before they graduated) and over time, we’ve grown together a lot as a team and learned so much along the way. Coming out to compete at the ARC with Eve is the best celebration we could have of that journey and our team’s potential going forwards into the future.

    Of the four tasks, the Sensor/Semi-autonomous task has been a great opportunity for our team to work with some great pieces of tech to give a little “life” into our Rover. We’re looking forwards to seeing it take its first steps on the big stage - all on its own!

    If you could take your Rover to an extra-terrestrial body, which one would you choose and why? 

    It would be fun if we could get our Rover on Halley’s Comet next time it whizzes by and hitch a ride ‘round the galaxy!

  • Monash

    Team from Monash in the Australian Rover Challenge at the University of Adelaide

    Rover name: Wombat

    Key members: 
    Rebecca Muir (Team Lead)
    Ayden Monsant (Chief Technical Officer)
    Akash Ramaswamy (Arm Team Lead)
    Siena Zubcic (Chassis Team Lead)
    William De La Rue (Electrical Team Lead)
    Daniella Conser(Operations Team Lead)
    Lauren Jennings (Science Team Lead)
    Gemma Quinn (Science-Engineering Team Lead)
    Harrison Verrios (Software Team Lead)

    Monash's rover for the Australian Rover Challenge

    Monash Nova Rover are a team of university students designing, fabricating, and testing the next generation of Mars rovers right here in Melbourne - and inspiring future generations along the way. As a team who has competed in the University Rover Challenge in the US in the past, the team are looking forward to the changes and challenges the ARC poses. The team is also interested in how the change from a Martian analogue to a Lunar analogue may impact our decisions and competition approach. We're very excited to see a Rover challenge in Australia! 

    Of the 4 tasks, the team is very interested to see how the Lunar Construction task goes, as it provides the largest scope for creativity and is the most different task from those we have done at competitions in the past.

    If you could take your Rover to an extra-terrestrial body, which one would you choose and why? 

    It may be a bit basic, but we would love to see our Rover be sent to Mars to hang out with all the other Rovers there! We're all very excited to see the technological progress and scientific discoveries being made as humanity progresses towards a manned mission to Mars.

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