Students from the School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri campus, participated in the European Mars Rover Challenge (ERC) 2018, one of the biggest international space and robotics events in the world. It took place in Starachowice, Poland from September 14-16, 2018. The team is placed as top two in India out of five teams participating, and 29th among 65 teams from the world.
The team, named "ASHVA", consisting of 12 students from the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Electronics & Communication Engineering and Computer Science & Engineering, School of Engineering, Amritapuri Campus, beat some of the world's best teams from countries like the USA, Canada, UK, Columbia, Spain, Poland and Mexico.
In the initial process of developing the team, the participants in the team were divided into four groups- administration, mechanical, electrical and computer science. All the subcategories worked as a packed unit, completing complex tasks within the deadline kept by the team head.
Most of the teams participating in the competition ERC 2018 were heavily funded with advanced technologies. On the first day, there was a science task which required the Rover to collect a certain sample of soil from 30 cm below ground autonomously and bring it back to the base station. The second task was a collection task in which ASHVA team performed by getting the Rover to pick up tools, turn generator knobs and turn on switches.
On the second day, in the presentation part, ASHVA team presented the Rover to the jury and explained the different implementations, new ideas and challenges faced while developing the Rover.
There were two tasks, autonomous traverse task and terrain test task, on the third day in which the Amrita Rover’s performance was way beyond expected as the navigation and UI, along with the stable chassis, provided an excellent performance.
“Through sheer dedication, motivation and hard work, along with the blessings of Chancellor Amma, we succeeded this far and placed 29th among 65 teams from the world. Ours is a most economical Rover. We thank all our friends, staffs and all who helped us so far from our heart,” commented ASHVA, Amrita Rover Team, Amritapuri campus.
The "ASHVA" team, mentored by Dr. Ganesha Udupa, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Amrita School of Engineering, Amritapuri, shared, "This is the third time our Amrita students are participating in world level competitions."