Remo Pillat, a Ph.D. student at UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), is collaborating with a team called Omega Envoy, a conglomeration of fellow CECS scholars, UCF Alumni and industry partners working together to build a rover capable of traveling 500 meters on the moon. The rover will be controlled remotely from an on-campus computer and will send back video data.

Also part of the UCF self-driving car project, Remo told us the distinct challenges of this project. A few of the factors they had to consider are:

1. The sharp surface of the moon–no atmosphere on the moon means no wind to dull sharp rocks

2. The extreme temperature changes on the moon

3. Creating an effective video and control process that will ensure data collection and distance coverage

Before the design is finalized and eventually entered into the X PRIZE contest, the team is sending the rover to Devon Island in Canada, where it will be tested in a simulated Mars environment called the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS).

To learn more about the team’s efforts in the competition, visit the Omega Envoy page on the Google X PRIZE Web site.