The Drumheller Badlands stood in for Mars on the weekend as teams from three universities got together for the first Canadian International Rover Challenge.
The two day event saw competitors from the University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team host their counterparts from Carleton University and the Missouri Institute of Design and Technology.
"We're going to be doing the autonomy challenge, so it tests how well the rovers can actually navigate on their own," explained Justin Gerein of the U of S team. "That also tests the terrain and how sort of rough the terrain is and how it can go over it. The other challenge we have going on today is the science or prospecting challenge."
"All of the teams when they're doing the challenges, they're in enclosed areas: the back of a trailer, back of a truck," he added. "They don't have any visible line of sight, so the only thing they can actually do is (respond to) the feedback that they're getting from the rovers that they've designed themselves."
They spent Saturday, July 8 and Sunday the 9th in Midland Provincial Park, including McMullen Island.
"It's actually really nice to see kind fo a realistic landscape to Mars," remarked Yannick Brisbois of Carleton University. "It's supposed to be a Mars competition, so actually having the landscape to simulate this is quite an experience"
While many of the students have traveled to rover competitions around the world, this is the first year that one has been held in Canada.
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