January 31st saw twenty teams of second year mechanical engineering students face off to see whose rover design could overcome all obstacles to victory. The first of the term’s two design competitions was filled with many ups and downs, as students’ remote-controlled vehicles careened over hills, chasms, angled terrain, sand traps, and more.
Simulating a space rover with a key control failure, teams had to design a vehicle that could traverse five unknown tracks while their motor was stuck at full speed. Students only had a few weeks to design and build, leveraging the academic, instrumentation, machine shop, and design process knowledge they’d gained in Term 1 to create their vehicle. As well as having to design for a variety of terrains, students also were encouraged to build with sustainability in mind, receiving points for using recyclable materials and facing possible point reductions otherwise.
After two hours of boisterous competition in front of an enthusiastic audience of their peers, friends, and the public, the final results saw the three top places decided by razor thin margins. Coming in third place was Team C3POno, with their vehicle “Carver 3,” while less than half a point more put team C2 BELIEVE’s “iNtuition” in second place. The difference of almost a single point decided the top spot, placing “The Big Block with Wheels (BBW)” by The Block Builders at the top of the podium.
Mech 2 students will have the opportunity to go back to the drawing board and learn from their Rover Mission experience, when they again vie for victory in a second competition on April 22, 2020. Watch our events postings at https://mech.ubc.ca/news-events/ for the announcement and come see the action!