University Mars Rover Challenge

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is sponsoring Capstone Team 30 – Project Pioneer. The team is competing in the Mars Society’s University Rover Challenge, an international competition to: “design and build the next generation of Mars rovers that will one day work alongside human explorers in the field.” BYU has competed in the URC every year since 2006 and placed 2nd last year. This year, the team is well on the way to a strong finish in the June 2016 University Rover Challenge at the Mars Desert Re-search Station in Hanskville, Utah.

The focus for this year’s team was mainly in the development of a new robotic arm/end effector and communications/electronics subsystems. The new arm is a light-weight carbon fiber design with powerful motors. The end-effector features a compliant clam shell gripper. The new comms sys-tem features a full onboard computer running Robot Operating System (ROS). The rover also features a lot of advanced scientific equipment for soil sampling and analysis including a 405 nm laser, a hi-definition camera, a temperature sensor, and a humidity sensor. The drive/chassis subsystem designed for last year’s competition is quite capable of continuing performance for this year and this year’s team was encouraged to leave those subsystems unaltered.

Project Pioneer brings international prestige and recognition to Brigham Young University and the Department of Mechanical Engineering through demonstration of excellence in technical ability and unparalleled sportsmanship. The team is committed to fulfilling the aims of the University and the mission statement of the Department.

School Year (term): 
2015-2016
Sponsor: 
BYU Department of Mechanical Engineering
Team Name: 
Project Pioneer - Competition Mars Rover Team
Coach: 
Eric Homer
Team Members: 
Adam Herron, Brad Burgess, Clayton Ramstedt, Dallin Redd, David Lindsey, Erich Mielke, Fred Fagergren, Jeremy Ellis, Kyle Brown, Marshall Garey, Matt Mitsvotai, Perry Burton, Phil Hyatt, Ryan Hyatt, Talmage Jones

Brigham Young University - Provo | Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Capstone Webmaster, Department of Mechanical Engineering, BYU, Provo, UT 84602 - (801) 422-8657 Address/Directions



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