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The Rover's All Right

OSU Robotics Club's Mars rover

Taj Morton, left, Josh Simmons and Florian Kapsenberg make last-minute adjustments to prepare the Oregon State University Robotics Club's Mars rover for a test run before the team competes in the college championships in early June.

Credit: Andy Cripe / Corvallis Gazette-Times

Oregon State University (OSU) students are building the Oregon State Wireless Active Learning Device (OSWALD), a remote-controlled Mars rover that features an extendable arm and a pan-tilt head with a video camera and global-positioning system device. OSWALD is a team project of the OSU robotics club, and will be entered in the University Rover Challenge, which takes place June 3-5.

In the competition, the rover must perform a series of tasks, such as using its arm to push buttons and insert a three-prong electrical plug, as well as perform a remote survey of a site and find and retrieve a sample.

The team's main goal is to improve on last year's fourth place finish at the competition and to keep OSWALD from getting stuck on anything. "It can pivot over obstacles and keep all six wheels on the ground," says OSU student Tyler Slone.

From Corvallis Gazette-Times
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