The European Rover Challenge (ERC) is an integrated programme towards technological development specifically in a area of space exploration and utilization. The ultimate goal of ERC is to become standardised test trials and benchmark for planetary robotic activities with strong professional career development platform.
ERC is split between two program tracks. ERC-Student delivers career development platform with major focus on space engineering. It includes workshops, and all year activities and mentoring around designing and building student planetary rover. All the effort is finalised by yearly event where student teams compete on specially landscaped area.
Second track, called ERC-Pro is designed to provide opportunity to demonstrate abilities in solving field tasks inspired by space robotics roadmaps. It is suited for startups, any companies, research groups and others working in space robotics domain. On the other hand, those not yet connected with space industry and having solutions solving given tasks can benefit from participation by presenting their strengths and getting introduced to the domain challenges and community of ‘doers’ in this specific field. Take a chance and join to the ERC-Pro competition!
In a long term ERC-Pro want to provide platform for monitoring and benchmarking on realisation of robotics exploration roadmaps to strategic institutions and other interested actors. As a implication of aforementioned activities, ERC-Pro is aspiring to disrupt pattern of single-mission systems and following best practices form terrestrial robotics, bring iterative development and improvement in field of space robotics projects by annual trials and demonstrations.
Both tracks are the part of one community network managed under ERC flag. Such solution provides unique opportunity to collect people on different level of career focused on (robotic) space exploration. Community works as a motor of continuous improvement effort one way, providing transfer of expertise and feedback from professional teams to students and other, creating transfer of talents to engaged companies. It also connects universities, companies and other institutions promoting their strengths and identifying opportunities for collaboration.
The Registration for ERC Student and Pro 2018 is already open. You can send your applications till March 31, 2018.
The European Rover Challenge is owned and coordinated by European Space Foundation, organised in cooperation with group of independent experts creating steering and jury board. Mars Society Polska is a partner of the programme.