International Rover Design Challenge

Fuelling Exploration through Imagination

About IRDC

The International Rover Design Challenge (formerly Indian Rover Design Challenge) is a competition for university students which challenges to design Mars rovers which shall be fully equipped and mission ready for Operation on Mars. Teams are supposed to carefully plan each subsystem of the rover considering various extra-terrestrial parameters in design (Exceptions if any shall be mentioned). This competition is designed for students to explore their mind and spark the innovative design thinking of Individuals without putting any constraints on available physical resources. Students are encouraged to be as imaginative, creative and insightful as possible within practical implementable limits for the human race.

Competition Dates

Registration : May 5 – May 20, 2020

Submission : May 20 – July 20, 2020

Download IRDC Rulebook

If you have any queries related to rules and guidelines feel free to contact at

Do you have any questions? Read our FAQs section and feel free to ask

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General Questions

Yes, there is an initial application fee of 2000 INR (40 USD for foreign teams), which will be payable online.

Yes, IRDC is an international competition. Teams from all the countries are eligible to participate.

The registration will close on May 20, 2020.

Rulebook Related Questions

Teams are advised to put their focus on the below mentioned parameters (inclusive not exhaustive list) for their Rover designs and strike the right balance among several considerations:

1. Maintenance and Serviceability
2. System Dependability
3. Innovation and Out of the box designs
4. Design Effectiveness and Robustness

The teams shall assume reasonable distances to be covered and mission operation cycles, similar to Rovers currently on Mars.

The teams shall make One Rover. The Rover however may have swappable modules for carrying out different tasks. The modules shall be swapped by astronauts at the base station.

No. Lander design is not required.

Yes. The scenario of operation is from a base station on Mars, the Rover being operated by Humans.

No. The Teams can use/design the components without any limits on cost of actual implementation.

No. There is no mandatory autonomous traversal task in the competition. However, teams may opt for Autonomous operation in any task/sub-task which may benefit from it in terms of accuracy, navigation, auto-troubleshooting etc. Teams have been given freedom to take any approach which they deem to be most effective.

Rulebook Related Questions

Yes. It is highly encouraged that teams use a good amount of software visualisations to conceive their designs. In the Engineering Design Report (EDR) a perfect balance should be struck between the visualisations and explanations.

The teams at NASA consider 100+ parameters while designing their Rovers. We surely don’t expect teams to operate on the same level. Since there is a page limit on the Engineering Design Report (EDR) and a time constraint, Teams will have to prioritize on which parameter is considered and at what depth. The competition is totally relative among the teams, and there is no absolute grading scale except compliance with the problem statement parameters. There is basically no roof that teams can touch in terms of depth and level of research, and teams will be graded according to the technical depth touched by their counterparts.

Launch/Landing/Interplanetary factors needn’t be considered while designing. Just operation on Mars needs to be considered in a scenario where a few astronauts are already present.

No. There is no weight limit but a light weight rover design is encouraged.

A link will be active on the website for that purpose during the submission dates. Regarding that teams will be notified through e-mail.

No. The EDR will be the only submission the teams will have to make. All merit will be judged on the basis of EDR.

All text must be in single-column format.

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