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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Guelph, Ont. robotics team looks to improve on their 2019 result at rover challenge – Guelph

The University of Guelph robotics team from Ontario are taking part in a rover competition in Alberta.

The 2022 Canadian International Rover Challenge sees teams competing in a series of events and courses that simulate an exploration on Mars.

Teams will be tasked to manoeuvre their mechanical rovers through the rugged terrain in the badlands of Alberta.

The University’s robotics team competed for the first time in 2019 and finished in sixth place beating more well-established teams, and earning rookie team of the year honours.

They are hoping to have a better result in their sophomore event.

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“We kind of learned what areas to improve on,” said Spencer Ploeger, past president and current member of the robotics team. “But we also saw what we did well, and it gave us inspiration for the new (rover) design.”

Joel Deen, another team member and current executive, said they rebuilt their rover from scratch.

“We have a new and improved rover that is a whole lot better than the previous one,” said Deen.

The team’s 2022 rover will have four cameras: one main stereoscopic camera with two lenses that mimic what human eyes see, and three more to offer a 360-degree view around the rover.

To prepare for this year’s competition, the team test-drove their rover on the beach volleyball courts near the south residences on the main campus.

“Robotics is an exciting application of engineering,” said Ploeger. “It combines software, mechanical design, electrical design, which are theories you learn in class but you don’t get opportunities to apply them to a real-life problem.”

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The Guelph robotics team will be up against 14 others from Canada, the U.S. and around the world.

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The four-day competition starts on Friday in Drumheller, Alta., and Ploeger said he is excited to be going.

“The location in the Alberta badlands is pretty neat,” he said. “You feel like you’ve been transported to another planet.”

Learn more about the University of Guelph Robotics Team by going to their website or follow them on Instagram.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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