We are a team from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and we participate in International Space Related Robotics Competitions every year.
What does it take to build a perfect Mars Rover? We believe the motivation from our teachers, our seniors and the people of the country is pushing us towards building the perfect mars rover. Our people believe in us. They have hopes. And this motivates us every second. Our teachers always support us and show the right path. Our motivation is our predecessors who achieved 5th position in Phobos Group at University Rover Challenge (URC) – 2016 on Mars Desert Research Station at Hanksville of Utah state in USA.
We want to build and design a world class Mars Rover which will be perfect for the Martian environment and will help mankind and the nation to know & research the use of space technology for technological advancement. Our vision is to participate in international rover challenges across the globe for winning in order to make our country proud. We have hope to be one of the most renowned and the best Mars Rover Team in the world.
The Electrical & communication Team is responsible for powering various segments of the rover and ensure a stable communication with the parts of the rover from the base station. It is in charge of providing power to the rover and managing the electronic parts. They design and develop the best power distribution system for the mechanical parts of the rover. This team also responsible for controlling of the rover and hauling the camera feeds from various points back to the base station for better movement and maximum view of the environment. They design custom printed circuit boards for the sensor interface and motor control. They also ensure a strong, wireless RF communication link between the base station and the rover.
The Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Team is responsible for the design and manufacture of the rover body, arm, wheels, suspension, robot manipulator, soil collection mechanism, chassis, mounts and other mechanical parts. This team designs and builds a multiple degree of freedom robotic arm for completing the tasks of the competition. It also provides the basic skeleton of the rover. Moreover, this team performs various analysis of the rover components for better strength and mobility. Again, it develops the drive and suspension system to drive through the hard, inconsistent surface of the martial terrain while protecting sensitive equipment and scientific samples from vibration.
The Autonomous and Software Team is responsible for autonomy, perception, teleportation and the embedded software of the rover. It is in charge of the autonomous tasks using artificial intelligence. It also develops the code to process the information about the environment around the rover which helps the rover to effectively traverse the course. The autonomous system developed by the sub-team creates a closed loop scenario where various sensors communicate with each other to control the rover. The sub-team maintains the GUI used by human drivers to control the rover and develop control solutions for complex systems (such as robotic arm) to improve accuracy and usability.
The Scientific Analysis Team is responsible for performing tests to analyze collected and off-board samples and developing in suit life detection hardware for the rover. This team performs comprehensive analysis of the biological, geological and chemical aspects of a given area. It also performs scientific tasks using the methods like chemical assays, spectroscopy, microscopy or any other method that can collect several independent samples and determine their habitability without contaminating the samples.
The Media and Outreach Team is in charge of organizing corporate sponsorships, grants and other fundraising opportunities. It is responsible for all non-technical work of the team such as- finance, public relations, community outreach events, sponsorship letters, videos for advertisement & sponsors, videography, branding, rover reports and other non-technical tasks of the team. Furthermore, it plays an integral role in the smooth functioning of the team’s work and managing of all events.
The International Planetary Aerial Systems (IPAS) Challenge is a competition for university students which challenges to design Mars Aerial System (Vehicle) which shall be fully equipped and mission ready for operation on Mars. Teams are to carefully plan each subsystem of the Aerial System considering various extra-terrestrial parameters in the design. Team Interplanetar, BUET Mars Rover Team has previously worked on different rover challenges but for the first time, we took part in IPAS challenge where we designed our first ever drone for MARS - Nirveek V1.0. The whole drone body is made with the most thoughtful planning from our team, from structure designing to materials. Several airfoil analyses have been performed to craft the best possible propeller design. We designed a 3D model with the help of softwares explaining all the necessary details. Furthermore, we performed the whole flight simulation in ROS to check all the parameters of performance.
Due to Covid-19, it was not possible to do the full mechanical and hardware manufacturing for any of the teams. So the competition was based on the EDR (Engineering Design Report) where Team Interplanetar successfully submitted their EDR of the drone and achieved 8th position worldwide. However, the bigger news is that we bagged one of only two Innovation Awards for our most efficient gas compression system in a martian drone.
Our Mongol-E v 4.0, for the ERC-2019, was designed by the lesson learnt from our previous University Rover Challenges experience. We modified many parts of the rover to perform better in ERC-2019. This year We implemented a counter-link mechanism for proper balancing and strength of chassis and suspension system. We upgraded the drill design so that it can reach up to 30cm deep down the soil. We also changed the previous structure of wheel for proper traction and strength of the wheel. We located the arm in the middle of the rover so that the arm can operate smoothly without any major vibration. The total weight of our rover was 40 kg after mounting all components. To power our rover, we used 4 Lithium Polymer Batteries of 12-volt, 22 Ah each. We used total 5 cameras (4 analog cameras each of 1.3 MP resolution & 1 digital camera of 20MP resolution). We have designed separate custom made PCB for serving different purposes. To give life to our rover we used low cost gas sensors, temperature sensors, UV sensors and humidity sensors which are mounted on the rover for atmospheric and soil property measurement. The working time of our rover was 55 minutes. We placed 16Th position with total score of 181,5 in the ERC-2019 competing different rover teams from different universities around the globe.
We, Team Interplanetar designed Mongol-E v42.1 rover for the University rover challenge 2016. Our Mongol-E v2.1 has custom-designed wheels which were made with the help of CNC technology. We have used aluminum alloy for our rover structure. We have implemented counter-link mechanism for our suspension to run smoothly and overcome any kind of obstacle. The main chassis were made of square ss channels to coupled with the suspension. Our arm has 6 degree of freedom with infinite rotation of end effector. Our rover can carry weight up to 7kg with great stability. Inverse kinematics were used to control the manipulator to perform various tasks. For the rover eyes we used total 4 cameras. 2 of were mounted at the end of the manipulator for better viewing angle while performing the tasks. In the electrical section we designed & build individual custom-designed PCB for wheel motors, communication devices, manipulator and on-board science tasks. In the communication sector we used different frequency band for data transmitting and video transmitting. The rover is capable of finding out the shortest path between 2-way points with the help of on-board GPS module. We have used convolutional neural network algorithm for detecting an object and find that out. A cluster of raspberry pi were used to process the deep learning algorithms. Our rover can avoid any obstacles and autonomously navigate itself to the destination. It can detect obstacles with close range 3D mapping ability and overall 2D mapping of the environment. For science task we automated the scientific chambers and two specially designed reaction chamber for on-board testing of the samples. An auger drill tool is used for collecting the soil samples. Various sensors are mounted with the auger tool for analyze soil characteristics. Our rover can determine the availability of various nutrients and micro-organisms in the soil. Our team secured 5th position in the Phobos group and 1st position in Bangladesh at University Rover Challenge- 2016 with the total score of 213 among 14 teams in the group and 42 teams in total from different universities around the world.
We designed our Anweshan v2.0 rover for the Indian Rover Design Challenge -2020. This year IRDC took the whole competition online because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic situation. Team Interplanetar designed a fully functional rover that can survive & operate in the Martian terrain. Past experience of Mars rovers has proved that Martian surfaces are a combination of rocky and sandy terrain. Therefore, we have chosen the rocker-bogie suspension system with a bar differential mechanism to allow our rover to traverse in rocky terrain with ease. We also upgraded our wheel design. We are using Nitinol wire mesh spring tires which provide superior traction on such terrain while sustaining large loads. To power up our rover, we have two 24V, 8Ah on board batteries. Solar panels are used to recharge the batteries when the rover is in sunlight. The total mass of the rover, with all its peripherals mounted, amounts to 42kg. Via SolidWorks simulations, it is seen that the rover can sustain a total load of 50kg while maintaining its normal speed. The end effector of our arm is a two-claw gripper with a wide surface area which allows it to lift objects of a variety of shapes. The arm of our rover has 6 degrees of freedom. For the scientific analysis we have mounted external sensors that are used to take readings such as temperature and pressure of the air and also concentrations of gases such as CO2, CH4 and O2. Our newly designed auger drill is used to collect soil samples from a depth of 10cm. There are three digital cameras and one depth camera to give vision to our rover. We have introduced a thermal control system for our batteries to keep them within their allowable temperature limits in the environment of mars. In the IRDC-2020 Team Interplanater proudly secured 11th position with a total score of 655.5 among 28 teams from different universities. And stood 2nd in Bangladesh.
ERC-2015 was the first international rover challenge that our team, Team Interplanetar participated. The ERC-2015 was a whole new experience for the team. The team worked day and night to design & build our Mongol-E v2.0 rover. We build a fully functional rover that can traverse in the Martian terrain. Our mechanical sub-team designed the body, manipulator and the wheels of the rover. The team also introduced counter-link mechanism for the suspension. The chassis was built with the aluminium alloy. We made custom-designed wheels for our rover. In the electrical department we made individual custom PCB for our different components. For the communication we separated the bands for image and data transmission. Our software team has developed the algorithm for the autonomous task and navigation for the rover. With the cameras and sensors on board the rover can observe the environment and make a 3D map of the environment. In the scientific analysis task, we mounted a auger drill to collect the soil samples. We designed a reaction chamber and mounted sensors to analyze the samples. In the ERC-2015 our Team Interplanetar stood 19th worldwide with the total score of 135.
Our Anweshan v 1 Rover is controlled via Wi-Fi communication system. Basic Components of our rover are -Wheel, Suspension and Damper, Chassis, Manipulator, End Effectors. We choose our Rover material to be lightweight preferably aluminum, stainless steel alloy sheet or nylon and the structure design is optimized and compact to keep it within the weight limit. The wheels have enough traction to travel through the Martian sandy and rocky terrain while carrying the load, and the suspension system enables the rover to pass through the slopes, turns and rocky terrain while maintaining balance, our rover body is able to hold and protect all the integral parts. An arm with 6 degrees of freedom is attached at the front of the chassis. The 6 DOF is achievable by combining the motion of 3 actuators in the vertical plane, one base stepper motor to control the position +in the horizontal plane. The rover is equipped with easily accessible red emergency stop button. It will disrupt power to all motors and actuators and PCB’s. Also, industrial indicator lamp which remains active for 5 seconds to inform its readiness to receive commands before each task.
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
Robi Axiata Ltd.
adorsho praniSheba Ltd
(Cardiac Rhythm Management, Cardiovascular Portfolio)
Graduate Engineering Trainee
Android team lead
Co-Founder and Head of Geosciences ThinkForce LLC (USA)
Technical Lead(Geomodeling Division) Dimension Strata Ltd. (Brunei)
AI & Robotics Engineer
Product Design & Development
Involute Tech BD
Model & Project Lab, BUET
Product Design & Development
Involute Tech BD
Junior Software Developer
Nextgen Digitech V.O.F
Assistant Engineer R&D division
Energypac Engineering Ltd
Dept. of Computer Science & Eng.,
Involute Tech bd, Dhaka
NDSU, North Dakota, USA.
Research and Development
PI Labs Ltd
Dept of SWE
University of Dhaka
Head of Videography
Thanks to everyone for believing and supporting us. We are thankful to Ankur International for their support. You also can support us through Ankur International using PayPal. Your small help will fuel our hopes and encourage us to do better in the future.
Model and Project Lab, Department of Mechanical Engineering, BUET, Dhaka-1000
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Team Interplanetar - BUET Mars Rover Team
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