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The Sooner Rover Team was founded in the Fall semester of 2015 by a small group of students that were interested in space and robotics. After a very successful competition year, bringing home the highest score the NASA RASC-AL Robo Ops Competition has ever seen, the team has grown in size to about 20 students. We will be taking on a new competition this year: The University Rover Challenge! Among the students on the team we represent a variety of majors including Aerospace, Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Geology/Geophysics, Mathematics, and Astrophysics.
We need your support! Let's start off by saying that $4,000 is a very beginning goal for us and we are aiming to raise 400% of this ($16,000)!! Last year the team was awarded a $10,000 grant up front, from the RASC-AL Robo Ops Competition to help fund our participation. This year however, the team will not receive an initial grant. Additionally, The University Rover Challenge brings greater obstacles and more requirements. This is an exciting task for the Sooner Rover Team and we can’t wait to overcome the new challenges set before us, but it will take a much greater monetary contribution than we had last year. We ask for your support to help us achieve success, once again, for our team and for our University. We promise, as a team, that your contributions will be used to bring us closer to our final product and are extremely grateful for each and every act of support! BOOMER SOONER!
Our rover last year, Rovie McRover Face, was based off of a Russian design concept (the Marsokhad) that was introduced to the team. We believe it was our take on this design along with a unique control system that set us apart last year. We were able to out maneuver and manipulate in ways that the other rovers simply couldn't! We plan to keep the best of what we had last year and improve in every area that we can. This year's rover will also need on board equipment to run scientific analysis that will determine characteristics such as soil humidity and subsurface temperature. These improvements, however, will require better parts and cost more money.
The Sooner Rover Team will be competing in the 2017 University Rover Challenge from June 1st to the 3rd. The competition will be held at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) near Hanksville, Utah. Teams competing in the competition will face a variety of obstacles and are required to be completely untethered (wireless) and controlled from a remote location. The teams will also face many obstacles including terrain challenges, autonomous traversal, science caching, retrieval and delivery tasks, and more. Only with your support can we bring home a victory like last year!