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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: One of a kind space robotics event available on-line – The ERC 2022 is coming

by Lukasz Wilczynski

Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit replica: Credits: NASA

Best Mars rovers from around the world. Inspirational meetings and speeches about space exploration, Mars, the Moon and the Earth. Live connection with famous Dr. Ballard’s expedition exploring the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. These are just a few of the many attractions that await visitors and viewers of the 8th edition of the European Rover Challenge. For those who can’t be in Poland this time there is fantastic news – all debates and lectures accompanying the ERC 2022 will be available live online.

This weekend (September 9–11), the eyes of the professional world of robotics will be on Poland, where 30 teams from 10 countries will compete on a biggest artificial Marsyard in the world. 11 of them will join the challenge remotely from their countries. The competition of the best Martian rovers is one thing but what makes ERC unique from other such events is the Inspiration Zone: full of attractions for people at every age.

Let’s see what organizers of the ERC 2022 have prepared for both visitors and viewers online:

Inspirational meetings and world-class experts

Guided by the motto “we inspire a new generation” European Rover Challenge brings space and the growing role of modern technologies closer to the general public. ERC leaves you not only equipped with knowledge, but also inspired to action.

Each of the following days of ERC 2022 will be a separate thematic zone. On Friday, experts will talk about Mars exploration and prospects for colonization of the Red Planet. On Saturday, space technology specialists will focus on man’s return to the Moon, acquiring its resources and using it as a launch platform for distant space missions. On Sunday, the ERC will return to Earth, and guests will discuss the use of satellite data, how to protect our planet with space technologies and what their role in everyday life is.

Among others, Speakers and panelists will answer important questions: How will new science and technologies change the world in the coming years? What competencies are needed in the space sector? What is the future of the space market labor? How to make business on Space Technologies? and What benefits does designing better autonomous space robots give us?

During the ERC you will have an opportunity to listen to the distinguished experts in robotics and space technology. Among those who will speak at ERC are Gianfranco Visentin – Head of the Automation and Robotics Section of the European Space Agency, Maria Antonietta Perino – Director of Space Economy Exploration and International Network at Thales Alenia Space,Dr. Niamh Shaw – popularizer of space and STEM and STEAM sciences, or Remco Timmermans – Content marketeer and social media specialist for the global space industry. The full list of this year’s experts is available at roverchallenge.eu.

On the third day, a live connection will be established with a research expedition of the Ocean Exploration Trust (founded by Titanic wreck discoverer Dr. Robert Ballard) currently in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. Crew members will talk about the Nautilus project, a key part of which is operating an underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle). It is used in exploring the ocean floor and volcanic vents – the most extreme conditions on Earth, which scientists regard as space-like.

About the ERC 2022 event

Co-organizers of this year’s edition are: the European Space Foundation, Kielce University of Technology and Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship. The role of the Host City of the event belongs to the City of Kielce. The event is held under the honorary patronage of the European Space Agency, International Astronautical Federation and Polish Space Industry Association.

Partners of the event are: Polish Space Agency, European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), International Space University (ISU), MathWorks, Polish Space Professionals Association (PSPA), Mars Society Polska, Poznan University of Technology, Kell Ideas (Leo Rover), Kozminski University and Freedom Robotics. Supporting partners of the event are: US Consulate General in Krakow, United Nations Vienna, Pokojowy Patrol and Pyramid Games. Awards sponsors are SENER, Mastercam and Occupy Mars: The Game. The project is partially financed by the “Social Responsibility of Science” program of the Minister of Education and Science.

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