Engineering, computer science, biology and geology at Binghamton University are all coming together to build a functional Mars rover.
If people really do colonize Mars, they might need a robotic friend to help explore and set up our outposts.
The brand-new Binghamton University Mars Rover Team is ready for that challenge.
The team is building a rover that can not only survive conditions on Mars, but can also run through a checklist of things that a Mars outpost might need.
The rover needs the ability to help with scientific discoveries by drilling, taking and analyzing samples and using that information to detect any signs of life. Likewise, it should be able to use tools, twist screws and pour fuel or water.
It also needs to be able to travel on its own to find tools at certain GPS coordinates or bring tools to a colonist. When traveling, it has to be able to pass through gates and survive tumultuous terrain.
The rover developed by Binghamton students will compete against the designs of other schools as part of the Mars Society's annual competition.
The team is made up of 60 students from all the various Watson School departments as well as the departments of geological sciences and biological sciences.
Managed by the Binghamton University student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the team is divided into seven sub-teams, including mechanical, electrical, manipulation, communications, navigation, science and software.