Kochi: A team of students from an Engineering college in Kerala has been selected to compete, for the first time, in the University Rover Challenge in the US to design and build the next generation of Mars rovers.
The five-member team from the Toc-H Institute of Science and Technology (TIST) at Arakkunam near Kochi has been selected for competing in the URC to design and build rovers that will one day work alongside human explorers in the field.
Apart from the URC 2014, the team would also compete with students from across the world in the prestigious international aeronautical contest 'CanSat' in the US, a statement released here said.
The purpose of the CanSat is to mimic the functions of an actual satellite, and thus it is an intertwining of various fields of engineering.
While the CanSat competition will be held in Texas in June, the URC will be held at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in the remote barren desert of southern Utah in May this year. The URC is the world's premier robotics competition for college students.
TIST is among 31 university teams in the URC representing six countries: the US, India, Egypt, Poland, Canada and Bangladesh; and the team will compete with students from prestigious institutions including Yale University, Cornell University and the Warsaw University of Technology.
It is for the second consecutive year that a team from TIST has been selected for the CanSat, which is being organised by the American Astronautical Society and American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics in association with NASA, Naval Research Laboratory (USA), Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp and PRAXIS Inc.
The competitions are the most prestigious platforms for students of Science from universities and colleges across the world to showcase space-related systems they have conceptualised and built.
The TIST team is the first ever from Kerala to be selected for both the competitions.