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Registration process opened for the 2021 edition of the Exo-RO National Rover Competition

on 06 January 2021

Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) and ESERO Romania - European Space Education Resource Office are inviting highschool students to join the National Exo-RO Rover Competition. This contest aims to challenge teams of students to design, build and lead a rover-type mission, similar to space robotics. The deadline for registration is 24 January 2021.

In 2021, the Exo-RO national competition will adopt a hybrid type of learning which combines school work with remote learning. The teams will design the rovers, build them and send them to the jury. Afterwards they will be launched on an imposed route that has a maximum length of 30 metres located in a very offering place in terms of landscape. During previous editions, the rovers explored muddy volcanoes in Buzău, the underground environment in Bacău and an aquatic environment in Timișoara in 2018.

The goal of the competition is to arouse the interest of young people in the space field and to increase the quality of education through the formation of professional skills for young people. Rovers, which are built as robots to explore an exoplanet, have limited dimensions (maximum mass of 2.5 kg and maximum linear dimensions of 40cm x 30cm x 20cm). Also, rovers must be equipped in order to perform two scientific missions, one that is required and another one chosen by the team.

The required primary scientific mission consists in retrieving an object with a predetermined mass of up to 50g with the help of a robotic arm, navigating the internet with the help of on-board instruments and collecting atmospheric data (pressure and temperature).

The secondary scientific mission, which is chosen by each team, may consist in collecting other samples, measuring other local parameters (atmospheric composition, lighting level, gas concentration, pH, radiation, etc.) with the help of sensors on board, in order to determine the habitability for the human species, and also the possibility of some local life form.

By joining this competition student teams will have the opportunity to take part in all the typical phases of a space robotics project, from the selection of objectives, the design and integration of components, and to the testing of the system in the end. As a result of this process, participants will learn in a practical way and also become familiar with scientific research methodology, they will learn new concepts, deepen or consolidate knowledge of technology and programming, learn the importance of coordination and teamwork, and last but not least, they will improve their communication skills, as the final stage of the competition will be taking place in English.

Competition calendar:

  • Competition Launch: 24 December 2020
  • Proposals sending period: 24 December 2020 - 24 January2021
  • Publishing the finalist teams names on ROSA and ESERO websites: 25 January 2021
  • Rover building: 25 January 2021 - 8 March 2021
  • The Final: 9 March 2021 - 14 March 2021

Further information and details about the registration process are available here.

Image credit: ESERO