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Dan Kim

Inaugural Ontario Rover Rally will bring together Mars-enthusiasts from universities across Ontario and QuébecJune 20, 2019

On Sunday, July 28 at McMaster Innovation Park, rover teams and Mars-enthusiasts from across Ontario and Québec will compete at the inaugural Ontario Rover Rally (ORR).

The rally is the first of its kind in Ontario, with the only other North American rover competition being held in Alberta and Utah. Similar rover competitions are also held in Poland and India.

Max Lightstone, mechanical engineering masters student and lead organizer, explains his motivation for starting this initiative.

“We started the Ontario Rover Rally to provide a venue for local teams to compete in a low risk environment, to test new technologies, and to have the opportunity to participate, even without a fully operational Rover,” said Lightstone.

The student-run competition consists of three unique challenges that test teams’ rover capabilities, creativity and knowledge of Mars. In the rover challenge, teams will race their rover over inclines, obstacles and martian-like terrain to retrieve a tool and cross the finish line.

The science challenge tackles the big question on everyone’s mind: is there life on Mars? Teams will devise an original experiment to detect signs of Martian life, keeping terrestrial contamination and Martian geology in consideration.

In the design challenge, teams will attempt to build a device to protect a 3 kg payload as it descends from orbit. Designs will be dropped from a height of 24 m and measured with an accelerometer.

The rally is organized by a passionate committee of McMaster University undergraduate and graduate students and is affiliated with the McMaster Mars Rover team.

Early registration for ORR is now open until June 28th. Teams and individuals without a rover are encouraged to participate.

Update: Competition Results

Rover Challenge:

1st Place: Ryerson Rams Robotics
2nd Place: HotPopRobot
3rd Place: Robotics for Space Exploration
4th Place: York University Robotics Society

Rover Challenge Innovation Award: Ryerson Rams Robotics

Science Challenge:

1st Place: AquaVitae
2nd Place: York University Robotics Society
3rd Place: Ryerson Rams Robotics

Design Challenge:

Design Challenge Innovation Award: Robotics for Space Exploration