Mars Rover World Champion

During the 2017-2018 school year, I lead the OSU Robotics Club’s Mars Rover team into the Canadian International Rover Challenge, and we swept the competition with first place! I was the overall Team Lead in addition to performing most of the duties of Electrical Team Lead, as our original Electrical Lead left us at the beginning of the year and I stood up to fill the position.

Top Four CIRC Scores.

The Challenge

The Canadian International Rover Challenge is an international competition that takes place annually in Drumheller, Alberta. The competition aims to replicate what conditions a Mars Rover could face on a foreign planet, with tasks ranging from Mining (Resource Extraction) to finding and assisting an injured astronaut. My personal mirror of the rules can be found here [link].

Rover operating a switch during Equipment Servicing.

My Role

I was the Team Lead for the team, which meant I orchestrated all team operations, ranging from organizing team meetings and design sessions. I had a great group of sub-team leads, and a team member who served as the team’s “CTO”, who pushed the initial design of the Rover while I was spending the first term of the year interning at SpaceX. When I came back, I hit the ground running and pushing the Rover forward.

Rover Team

In a shocking development, we also lost our Electrical Team Lead towards the end of Fall term, and I stepped up to fill most of this role, with my Software Lead (Corwin Perren) picking up some slack, too. Most notably, Corwin wrote all of the firmware for the different boards this year, which is traditionally Electrical Team’s role. I designed most of the electrical hardware on the Rover (excluding arm), though, which includes IRIS, our Motor Nodes, Tower Alt, and most of the key schematics for the rest of the boards. I helped Electrical Team members design many of our other components based off of my schematics, too.

Motor Nodes control the six high current drive motors Rover uses for locomotion.

The Robot

The robot that we designed for the 2018 Rover Challenge is the culmination of many years of lessons learned from previous Rover Competitions. The team leadership had a significant amount of experience from previous experience that we were able to learn from and make a winning robot. 

Final 2018 Mars Rover.

In The News

Naturally, us winning the competition resulted in us appearing in the news a few times. I’ve included some of them below:

In addition to the OSU Foundation video above, we were also featured in a kickoff video for the 2018-2019 giving year:

My story has been featured in a number of different OSU marketing media.