FAIR-SPACE Hub was delighted to be a sponsor for the UK SEDS Olympus Rover Trials event for the second year, providing delicious catering to those teams who participated in the trials on Sunday 28th July at STFC’s RAL Space in Harwell. The Hub is really keen to support the development of top STEM talent and the future of the space robotics industry in the UK and so was keen to not only sponsor the event, but also gave a presentation about the Hub and its vision.
The ORT is a competition in which university teams design, build, and test small rovers, simulating a mission to Mars. They are given an ESA-style spec, and have to pass through a series of design reviews led by industry experts before they receive funding to build their design. Meeting some of the teams, it became clear that they were multidisciplinary in their make-up, with engineering, electronics and project management skills essential to make the design prototype fit for the trial. It was also really tense at times to watch the rovers tackle the inclines, or be hindered by the rocky terrain, and it was fascinating to understand how speed and agility were big factors in the success or failure of the mission. The variety of different robotic arms in use was impressive and watching the retrieval of the cached sample canisters threw up some surprises, including interesting techniques to almost catapult the samples into the holding area on the rover.
Special congratulations go to Team Bath Roving at the University of Bath for winning the most points on the day. The quality of entrants was absolutely fantastic and it was great to see so many teams collecting samples and getting them back to the starting point. Congratulations to Imperial College London for winning the new automation prize.
We’re already looking forward to supporting next year’s event!
The full list of winners is as follows: