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The Mercury Remote Robot Challenge is an international, interscholastic robotics competition put on each year by Oklahoma State University, located in Stillwater,Oklahoma.

The challenge in essence is to design and build a robot capable of completing a remote mission where the operator of the robot must be located at least 50 miles from the robot.A few of the challenges in this year’s mission include maneuvering a serpentine path,picking up a bean bag payload,balancing across a seesaw, and launching the beanbag at a target. This year’s competition also coincides with the transit of Mercury between the sun and the earth - an event that happens only 14 times a century!

RAS’s very own Mercury team has gotten off to a great start this year having just wrapped up our third general meeting.To better tackle the specific challenges of this competition and to ensure that everyone is working at their full potential, we’ve split our team into smaller software and hardware sub-teams, with each teams having their own leaders, deadlines and personal goals. At this point, our mechanical team is transitioning out of their initial planning phase towards an initial building phase, while software has been focusing on researching the resources that are available to them and getting better accommodated with the Robotic Operating System and Arduino environments. Looking forward to the coming weeks, the team will be building an initial robot base, finalizing who will be accompanying the robot to Oklahoma and preparing to turn in our finalized technical documentation.

Author: Hasun Amarasekara