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The Financial Express

From dreamers to doers: IUT Avijatrik in the finals of European Rover Challenge


From dreamers to doers: IUT Avijatrik in the finals of European Rover Challenge

64 teams signed up for European Rover Challenge (ERC) 2022’s on-site edition from all around the world. From this assembly of highly driven and capable teams, only 16 were able to proceed to the finale which is scheduled to be held in Kielce, a city in Southern Poland. 

Among these 16 teams, IUT Mars Rover - Team Avijatrik has successfully secured the 11th position as the top scoring team from Bangladesh and the entirety of Asia. 

Scoring 66 points out of a total of 80 points on the preliminary report to land the spot, Avijatrik has ensured their participation in the finals of ERC for the third time in a row. 

Now they are set to represent Bangladesh on a global stage and attend the finals of ERC 2022 from the 9th to 11th of September.

European Rover Challenge (ERC) is an annual competition hosted in Poland since 2014, owned and coordinated by European Space Foundation in partnership with Mars Society Poland. 

The competition is a fusion of space and robotics, a source of inspiration for those with a penchant for technology and human exploration of Mars. It also serves as an event where participating enthusiasts can interact with representatives of the European world of business and technology, as well as meet legendary personalities from NASA.

IUT Mars Rover- Team Avijatrik hails from the Islamic University of Technology situated in Gazipur, Dhaka. The team consists of a bunch of enthusiastic students from different departments, divided into several sub-teams to meticulously carry out different operations in the formulation of the semi-autonomous rover. 

A Mars rover is an engine vehicle designed to manoeuvre itself over the surface of the planet Mars. They have a few advantages over other stationary vehicles, that is, they can be used in more advanced settings and can develop the knowledge on how to perform somewhat inaccessible automated vehicle control. An unwavering result of the vision and dedication of the members, the rover ‘Avijatrik’ is built entirely by the team and is annually upgraded and maintained to be in perfect shape.

Being diverse and well-planned in order to allow for maximum efficiency, the team is divided into multiple subteams. Every year, the team sees the addition of new members from the freshmen. The recruitment process, lasting for three to four weeks, is thorough and structured as weekly tasks are assigned to the applicants before a verbal interview is conducted. In order to maintain consistency in performance, junior members are regularly groomed through tasks and projects relevant to their own sub-teams. 

Currently, members of the team are exerting serious effort day and night in the construction and upgradation of the rover to maximise the performance efficiency for the imminent final. 

The team prepared and submitted a final report and a video of the developed rover body on 31st July. The team will have to submit an updated report and a science planning report before the in-person finale begins. 

“We aim to showcase our best performance in the upcoming finals of ERC 2022, and attain an admirable feat which will bring the outstanding talent of Bangladesh to the spotlight in a global arena,” said Ashraful Haque, the Team Lead of IUT Avijatrik. 

They hope to have the support and well-wishes from their fellow countrymen on this venture ahead.

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