Polish teams scored first and second places at URC 2013

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Two Polish teams have performed exceptionally at this year’s University Rover Challenge, achieving the first and second place on the podium.

Between the 30th of May and the 1st of June the University Rover Challenge competition was held in the US. Three Polish teams were present at this year’s edition.

The University Rover Challenge (URC) is an annual competition of “Martian” rovers, which operate in difficult, if not to say extreme conditions in a Utah desert in. Each year, multiple student teams from around the world participate to the URC, competing with each other in several “disciplines”. These competitions require the use of technologically advanced rovers, partially due to contest rules and partially due to desert weather conditions.

For the last several years Polish student teams have been actively participating to the URC. So far, the biggest achievement was the victory of the MAGMA 2 rover in the URC 2011. In that competition, students from the Bialystok University of Technology beat other teams, including an American one, which received help from NASA. At URC 2013, three Polish teams were present: Scorpio III from the Wroclaw University of Technology, Hyperion from the Bialystok University of Technology and SKNL Rover Team from the Rzeszow University of Technology.

As it turned out, URC 2013 was an amazing success for Polish teams. The competition was won by the Hyperion team, which scored 493 points out of possible 500. This is the highest ever result achieved at the URC. The second place was achieved by the Scorpio III team, which scored 401 points. The third place was given to an American team, which scored 350 points.

These results were quickly and widely commented in the media, also outside of Poland. It is an outstanding achievement, which suggests that one of Polish expert fields in the space sector is related to robotics. In addition, several teams participating in the URC 2013 have used a 3D printers to produce spares. This is also an interesting aspect of a possible trend of development in this branch of technology.

What’s next to the winning teams? The answer to this question should be known in few months. It is possible that on basis of these achievements new commercial entities will be created, which will focus at ESA tenders and other space sector projects.

Would you like to know more about Polish teams participating at UR 2013? Send us an email to kontakt@kosmonauta.net .

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