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GRound Exploration Robots

The GRound Autonomous Student Station (GRASS) has as its objective to get students acquainted with space robotics through the design and development of an autonomous rover with features such as terrain recognition, sample retrieving, and obstacle evasion.

 

The mission is multidisciplinar, with members ranging from aerospace engineering to industrial and electrical engineering, including a close professional relationship with a science team from University of Barcelona. Furthermore, all the systems and much of the components are developed by the mission members in collaboration with external sponsors.

 

The mission started in 2017 with the construction of the GRASS V1, but it was stopped shortly after due to lack of manpower. Later on, the mission was reactivated with the objective of finishing the GRASS V1, and participating in the UAV Challenge 2020 in collaboration with the Aldora mission. However, The UAV Challenge was indefinitely postponed due to the epidemiological situation at the moment.

 

For that reason, the mission decided to focus on the European Rover Challenge 2021 as its primary objective. After successfully qualifying for the finals, the GRASS V2 obtained the tenth position. The following year, with the completely redesigned GRover, the mission obtained the ninth position of all Europe in the European Rover Challenge 2022.

 

Currently, the mission objective is to qualify for the ERC 2023, improving the results of last year’s edition.

2022

The 2022 iteration of our European Rover Challenge rover has been a completely new redesign of the previous systems. Starting with the structure, it presents a new traction and suspension system made out of steel and aluminum, along with a new robotic arm, the BRASS, manufactured with additive materials and machined parts.

 

Alongside the new improved structure, there is also a new leap of the electronics systems, with customized electronic components housed in a modular configuration. Moreover, the programming of the rover has also been refined, taking advantage of the new versatile structure and capable electronics for improved autonomous capabilities and robotic arm control.

First rover designed for the European Rover Challenge. It incorporated autonomous navigation capabilities, and the first probing system and robotic arm of the mission. This, along with its modular configuration and additive manufacturing, made it the first full-capable rover, designed to fit all the requirements for the ERC.

2020-2021

Rover built from scratch following directives and requirements of the UAV Challenge 2020 competition, principally size and weight. It is also radio-controlled, but it requires communication between the rover and base camp at much longer ranges. It also requires image and sound capture.

2019-2021

Big sized radio-controlled rover, using the leftover materials from the 2017 mission, with additional structures printed with additive materials. Its objective was the development of adaptable technologies to use on the UAV Challenge rover, and the design of both a robotic arm for sampling returns, and a LIDAR system to perform terrain recognition. Its long-term objectives were autonomous movement and artificial vision.