ISU Students take 4th place at 2008 University Rover Challenge Competition

MAVERIC, a mars analog rover designed and built by students at the Space systems and Controls Lab (SSCL) and the new Aerospace Robotics Lab (ARL) won 4th place at the 2008 University Rover Challenge, which took place June 5-7, 2008 at the Mars Desert Research Station near Handsville, Utah.

“MAVERIC” is an acronym for Mars Analog Vehicle for Robotic Inspection and Construction, reflecting its purpose and multi-mission capabilities.  This effort is a new project initiated Spring 2008 semester and is based on Dr. Soon-Jo Chung’s anutonomous vehicle research testbed.  The University Rover Challenge is hosted by the Mars Society and has universities compete against each other by designing and operating remote controlled rovers in varied tastks similar to the challenges of future Mars missions.  These challenges included construction, geology, soil characterization and emergency navigation.  Oregon State University placed first in the challenge, while the competition also included Brigham Young University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California, Los Angeles, York University (Canada), and the University of Nevada, Reno.

Iowa State’s MAVERIC team included undergraduates Andreas Frick (team leader), Kito Berg-Taylor, Matthew Kruse, master students Daniel Harper and Jerry Stoner, Ph.D. student Branden Rademacher (all Aerospace Engineering Majors) as well as Keegan Gartner (undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering).  The project is expected to continue for next year’s challenge and is supervised by Matthew Nelson, Chief Design and Operations Engineer of the SSCL and Dr. Soon-Jo Chung, Director of the Aerospace Robotics Laboratory.

Link to Other Articles on this event:

Link to ISGC Article

ISU College of Engineering Feature

Link to Scientific American Article

Mars Society Website Article