ISRO invites student community to design wheeled robotic rovers for future missions

After the Indian Space Research Organisation ISRO successfully landed Chandrayaan-3 Vikram on the lunar surface and Pragyan explored near to the southern pole of the Moon, the agency said it’s time to look at future robotic exploration missions to the Moon and other planetary bodies.

According to the agency, the robotic programe has been a constant endeavour at ISRO that, and has created unique opportunities for academia & industry to participate in the technology developmental activities commensurate with organisational objectives.

In line with these objectives, U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) solicits from the youth of India, innovative ideas and designs of robotic rovers for future missions through the conduct of IRoC-U 2024. This is an invitation for the student community for design and realisation of a ‘Wheeled/Legged Rover’ encompassing the development of complete hardware and software. Details of the same are provided herewith.

The objective here is to provide development opportunities in space robotics to the participating entities and to leverage the creative thinking among the youth of our Nation for ISRO interplanetary missions. It is also expected to play an important role in augmenting ISRO’s activities in space exploration.

ISRO is foraying into the development of state-of-the-art Space Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies. The technologies are being developed to meet the futuristic mission needs of ISRO viz., ISRO In-orbit Servicer Mission, Lunar sample return mission, Docking in Space (SPADEX), Mars Lander Mission etc. This is conceived as a natural next step in this direction, when ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 mission accomplished landing and surface exploration using an indigenous Lander and Rover.

In order to provide a greater opportunity for the students of the country to provide innovative solutions in the area of space robotics, it is planned to organise “ISRO Robotics Challenge-URSC 2024 (IRoC-U 2024)” with a tagline of “Let’s build a space robot”. The solutions provided by the students in IRoC-U 2024 have the greater chances of getting incorporated into ISRO’s future interplanetary robotics missions.

IRoC-U 2024 consists of an engineering project where the Institutional teams build robots to compete on an extra-terrestrial inspired arena, performing tasks based on the real life challenges faced by space robotics. IRoC-U is being planned as a platform for co-development of technologies in the area of space robotics through organising challenges.

The final onsite competition to perform the required tasks is planned to be conducted in URSC Bengaluru Campus in the Month of August 2024.

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