European Rover Challenge

The ERC Space and Robotics Event, combining international competitions of mobile robots with scientific and technological shows 

Guided by the slogan “we inspire a new generation”, we have been bringing the cosmos closer to the general public and making people aware of the growing role of modern technologies in our lives since 2014. ERC is also a meeting place for representatives of the world of science and business interested in the use of space and robotic technologies. 

Among the special guests of previous ERC editions, you could meet Steve Jurczyk – Associate Administrator of NASA, Harrison Schmitt – NASA astronaut and member of the legendary Apollo 17 mission, or Tim Peake – an astronaut of the European Space Agency, who ran the London Marathon during his stay on the International Space Station. 

The main part of the project is an international robotics competition, where academic teams from around the world present their mobile robot designs, competing in tasks based on real ESA and NASA missions.

The competition takes place on the world’s largest artificial Martian track, that is directly derived from the surface of the Red Planet. In the pandemic era the competition is organized in a very successful, hybrid form. Competitors from several continents remotely control the robot, physically moving along a track located in Poland.

Besides the competition, the Inspiration Zone, workshops and other forms of online entertainment, are prepared for tens of thousands of space, science and new technology enthusiasts, attracted every year by the ERC. One of the most frequent groups of visitors to our event are parents with children, which is why we arrange the program of attractions to include workshops, interactive shows, speeches and popular science lectures tailored to audiences of all ages.

Live editions of the event, organized in several locations since 2014, have gathered thousands of visitors: the audience, event participants and VIPs. The hybrid form has not decreased the popularity of ERC but added a new technological dimension, actively engaging multiple locations around the globe. This formula is even closer to actual space exploration mission model. When the new rovers are built by the participants, the remote approach will stay with them for good, allowing even better projects.

Competition model history:

2014–2019Teams building their rovers and bringing them to Poland to compete

2020Teams designing rovers and missions, developing a control interface and remotely operating a third-party rover in Poland (the same rover for all participants)

2021 and onTeams bringing their rovers, but with a remote control component tested, to engage more participants in remote locations

More about the project at:

ESF TEAM – Anna Wilczynska




ESF TEAM – Anna Karahan