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2017 University Rover Challenge robots using ROS

I saw ROS tools or heard mentions of ROS in many of the URC CDR videos that were uploaded a few weeks ago, this is a playlist of them:

I could have easily missed more instances in the other videos:

It’s interesting to see all the variations on the rocker bogie suspension system, and there are a handful of exceptions that use more novel approaches (though more of them need to show off the rovers going up or down a real incline and over rough terrain).

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This is really cool!

Probably the majority URC teams use ROS!

We love it! I’m on the Ryerson University team (R3). Here’s our video:

For the first year at URC teams have an autonomous task. This is made so much easier with ROS. We’re using the RTABMAP package to help with outdoor autonomy and I’ve seen another team mention it too.


I see Ryerson made it in ( and 10 others that I was able to identify (more than a few I couldn’t find the CDR videos for). I’m really looking forward to the competition and any new youtube videos or posts (or ROSCon 2017 post-mortems?) about these robots.

Great idea! I will try to do a URC post-mortem at ROSCon. That idea might change thought. I plan on submitting some kind of ROSCon proposal.


For anyone competing or interested in URC, I wrote up our team’s approach and other team’s approaches in a book chapter:

This chapter contains the survey results of 7 teams who competed at URC 2017, including 1st and 2nd place teams! We also created 12 tutorials for URC’s competition and 7 new ROS packages that you can easily install (with apt-get) so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We want to encourage code reuse! Comments and improvements are welcome.

Thank you to all the contributors of the book chapter titled, “University Rover Challenge: Tutorials and Control System Survey”:

Matthew Mirvish, Bloor Collegiate Institute, HacklabTO Toronto, Canada, Team R3
Michał Barciś, University of Wrocław, Poland, Team Continuum
Vatan Aksoy Tezer, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, ITU Rover Team
Jacob Glueck, Cornell University, USA, Cornell Mars Rover
Hunter D. Goldstein, Cornell University, USA, Cornell Mars Rover
Akshit Kumar, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, Team Anveshak
Jerry Li, University of Waterloo, Canada, UWRT
Jonathan Boyson, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T), USA, Mars Rover Design Team
Michał Barciś, University of Wrocław, Poland, Team Continuum
Vatan Aksoy Tezer, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, ITU Rover Team
Gabe Casciano, Ryerson University, Canada, Team R3
Khalil Estell, San Jose State University, USA, SJSU Robotics

Hope you enjoy the chapter! Good luck to teams next year!

re ROSCon: I’m sorry I won’t be at ROSCon, I don’t have the extra dollars to go.