Robert Wu Prepares for University Rover Challenge

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Robert Wu and friends on the ERTH 3203 Applied Sedimentology field course

Robert Wu and friends on the ERTH 3203 Applied Sedimentology field course


Are you familiar with the Carleton Planetary Robotics Club? This group of students is entering their very own Mars Rover in the University Rover Challenge, an annual event held at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah. This contest is also known as the "premier robotics competition for college students". It is regularly attended by the most enterprising and skilled students worldwide. 

Senior undergraduate student Robert Wu is one such student. He has been a member of the Carleton Planetary Robotics Club since October. Robert is the only science student on his team - the rest are engineers. It was up to him which scientific instruments to puchase for their rover. His goal for the University Rover Challenge is to direct the rover to the most promising outcrop to analyze subsurface material and determine the potential for life to exist at that spot. The decision of where the rover will move will be based on pictures it will take of stratigraphic profiles at the site. It will also return hand samples that he will analyze. 

Robert became interested in planetary science as a child. Growing up in rural China, he took an interest in looking at extra-terrestrial bodies, such as Jupiter and the moon. He hopes to be a member of the Mars 2020 mission when the next rover is scheduled to launch!


Click here to see a video of their work