If you have been in the CEID lately you are bound to have seen a wooden contraption with six legs and a boxy frame. The insect-like vehicle is a prototype for a rover conceived and built by the Yale Undergraduate Rover Association (YURA). Last May, Brian Clark (’16) saw an article about college students building a Mars rover to compete in Utah at the University Rover Challenge. Since then, he has been working with Ashton Wackym (’16) to form an organization with the goal of building a rover to represent Yale at this competition. Their efforts materialized as YURA. Students with backgrounds in subjects ranging from engineering to political science have teamed up to approach the multifaceted challenges posed in the competition rules.
The University Rover Challenge puts a fifty kilogram limit on the vehicle and poses design challenges including terrain traversal, astronaut assistance, soil sampling to test for life, and equipment servicing. YURA’s rover is based loosely on current Mars rover designs and uses Rocker-Bogie suspension to passively react to the ground. Pat Wilczynski (’16) has designed a robotic arm with five degrees of freedom, and they will soon be laser cutting its parts. At the end of the arm will be a hand designed at Yale’s very own Grab Lab. The parts for this hand were printed on the Dimension just this past Tuesday.
Look out for YURA in the CEID this week as they begin fabricating their competition rover!