The Task Systems subteam is responsible for overseeing the design, analysis, manufacturing, and testing of all aspects of the rover necessary for completing the competition tasks. This includes the robotic arm, soil sampling tool, storage units, end attachments, and any other components geared toward competition. All mechanical components besides the drive train are realized by the Task Systems subteam, making it vital for the success of the rover at competition. Tasks range from collecting soil samples to carrying packages and surveying the land. Task Systems has a wide range of goals to accomplish; therefore, the design of the arm and other parts must be thoroughly planned and implemented.
The Drive Systems subteam is responsible for the design, analysis, and manufacturing of the rover’s chassis, suspension, and wheels. The martian surface presents a variety of obstacles (e.g. cliffs, inclines, etc.) to a potential rover. These obstacles are simulated at URC as the Terrain Traversal task, which challenges rovers to navigate a series of gates through difficult terrain.
The Controls Software subteam is responsible for developing software to communicate with the rover's hardware. Using ROS (the Robot Operating System), the team interprets input data coming from our base-station computer to operate the rover as well as data from various sensors on the rover. This team also develops additional features to assist rover operations such as a GUI displaying critical rover information.
The electrical team develops the hardware and firmware on the rover. They are responsible for power distribution, wireless communications, motor actuation, sensor integration, and low-level software development for embedded applications. The electrical team is involved in all parts of the rover, including the arm, drill, and drive systems, and play a crucial role in everything from rover mobility to soil analysis.
The Science subteam is responsible for the science behind the Sample Return Task, in which the rover must select and return a potentially interesting biological sample from the field. The team researches the environment of Utah and Mars in relation to organic life. The Science team employs a combination of onboard sensors and chemical tests to determine the existence of biosignatures in the Utah desert.
The Business subteam is responsible for managing the administrative, financial, logistic, and PR/marketing functions of the project team. This sub-team handles everything from coordinating sponsors to organizing team social events, ordering team apparel, and running a positive community outreach program. While the mechanical and controls subteams take care of building the rover itself, the Business subteam ensures all of the non-technical operations run smoothly, both behind the scenes and in the public eye.