Husky Robotics Team: Mars or Bust
Hi, We're Husky Robotics!
We are a club dedicated to helping undergraduates develop real world engineering experience outside of the classroom. The team consists of around 40 students from a variety of majors, including engineering, science, and business fields. Our primary competition is the University Rover Challenge which requires us to travel 1,250 miles to the competition site.
University Rover Challenge
This June we are competing in the University Rover Challenge (URC), which is an annual competition hosted by the Mars Society in Hanksville, Utah. This international competition is hosting a record number of 30 teams from 7 countries; those include the U.S., India, Canada, South Korea, Poland, Egypt, and Bangladesh. For more information, visit the URC home page.
The competition requires a chassis (main body) capable of traversing rough terrain, a mechanical arm with the strength to lift tools and turn valves, as well as a science platform to do soil analysis. Follow this link for a technical description of this year's rover.
Previous Years' Success
This year marks the team's fourth year competing in Utah. As the competition increases in popularity and becomes more cutthroat, we continue to excel as a team. Over the past few years, we have been climbing the leader-board at URC.
Being in the desert requires adaptation, so when last minute changes needs to happen, us engineers had to get creative. As a team, we learned how to deal with various obstacles and unforeseen circumstances, even in the most stressful of situations.
Hear From Our Members
"The Husky Robotics Team has provided me with real world engineering design and build experience. This experience cultivated my interest in engineering and ultimately helped me decide to pursue an engineering career path.The Utah trip was not only a chance to see the team’s hard work pay off, but also a chance to see people from all around the world get excited about engineering."
"I really like creating something and watching it move for the first time. It’s almost like breathing life into an inanimate object."
Throughout the course of a year, we aim to raise around $15,000 to purchase rover components, fund workshops, as well as cover the costs of traveling to the competition. Any extra funds go towards workshops and the prospect of entering new competitions for future years as we continue to support a larger network of students.
We welcome you to follow us on our Facebook page and ever expanding website to keep up to date on our progress. We want to thank for your consideration and support as we continue to work towards our first day of competition!
Our members show incredible dedication.
We fabricate almost everything in house. It is time consuming, but it serves as a way to learn practical machining skills and fosters a sense of pride in the robot we build. As the head machinist I know that we have machinists in shop almost every day of the week.
Coding and Computer Aided Design is generally done on members own time, with meetings being a place to troubleshoot and integrate their work. Some members started working over summer to design a prototype so we could hit the ground running once school started.
“The dedication shown by our new machinists has allowed our rover to be built at a rate faster than any year before. New members have learned valuable practical skills on top of all their school work.”
John Carter - Head Machinist
Our team participates in several community and STEM outreach programs in the Seattle area. These events give us a chance to show the community what we do and to connect with other robot enthusiasts.
In the last year we have had a booth at the Seattle Mini Maker’s Faire in September, Engineering Societies fair in October, Life Sciences Weekend at the Pacific Science Center in November, and UW Engineering Discovery Days in April.
I have gone to several of these events and it always brings a smile to my face when I see all the eager faces. Our team members answer questions people have about the robot design and competition.
“Our team takes pride in showcasing our team’s efforts and encouraging young minds to pursue STEM.”
Trevor Hedges - Assistant Software Lead
Our leadership team is elected at the end of the year each year by the general members. When I first joined the Husky Robotics team I didn’t expect to become the business lead my second year, but it has been a rewarding experience. Our leadership team is composed of the team captain, engineering, business, chassis, arm/science, software, and electrical leads.
We all meet at least once a week to touch bases and make sure all subsystems have what they need to make progress on developing their system. We also discuss important administrative tasks and make sure that all subsystems are in the loop.
“As part of the leadership team, I have gained valuable experience with communicating effectively with team members and ensuring timely completion of tasks.”
Lance Warneke - Business Lead
Our team places a great emphasis on training new members. It serves as a way to ensure all team members meaningfully contribute to the team regardless of their previous skill level. We value enthusiasm and dedication and this is our way of giving anyone who is interested a chance to be a part of our project.
We have workshops for every aspect of robot design and manufacture. Our team leads teach electronics, software, Computer Aided Design, and machining workshops during autumn quarter. These lessons give new members an introduction to the skills they will need to design and manufacture the systems of the robot.
I teach the software workshops. The workshop is an opportunity for new members to get a feel for what group coding projects look like. The software team utilizes gitHub an online tool that organizes and tracks coding changes made by each member.
Our team also teaches the engineering process and how to effectively collaborate with peers. Returning members play a vital role answering the design questions and supporting new members. We have our own Critical Design Reviews (CDR) which is a process used in the industry to ensure robustness of design.
“The team’s workshops fosters a kinesthetic learning environment where members can apply their knowledge with hands on tasks.”
Thomas Pryor - Software lead
16 supporters have chosen not to be listed for "Husky Robotics Team: Mars or Bust".
Make an Impact
Helps to purchase all the little nuts and bolts that hold us all together.
Provides electrical components for the rover. This includes power converters, motor controllers, wires, connectors, and microcontrollers.
Mars or Bust
We have to make it to Mars before we can compete and our vessels require fuel to get us there. This donation will fill up the tank on one of our cars to help the team and our equipment make the 2,500 mile drive to Utah.
Do it for Science!
Our rover must be equipped with the proper array of sensors to detect life on "Mars." This donation covers a portion of the costs of the sensors being used collect data from the soil.
Student Recharge Station
After a long days work out in the desert, a full nights sleep is a necessity. This donation pays to house four students for a night in a cozy hotel.
Safety is always a priority. This donation will help us purchase a robust First Aid kit for the trip to account for the scrapes and bruises acquired on the road.
Completely covers the cost of one student's journey to participate in the competition in Utah! This includes transportation, lodging, and snack costs for the week long trip.
This generous donation aids in the purchasing of the eleven motors being used between the chassis, arm and hand.
To the Power of 10
For those of you that needed a nice round number. This will cover the rental and fuel costs for one of the rental vehicles for the duration of the trip.