Build a Mars Rover

Help us build a working Mars Rover to contribute to the future of space exploration

  • £5,000

    pledged of £3,000

    • 66


    • 0


This project received pledges on Wed 31 May 2017

What do we want to do?

We are a team of five Open University engineering students, all fascinated by space exploration and particularly by Mars. Our dream is to build a working Mars rover and compete against the leading universities in the world, to influence the next generation of space missions.

The University Rover Challenge is the world's premier robotic competition for university students, held annually in the desert of southern Utah which tasks the engineers of the future to build a Mars rover - one of the toughest engineering challenges in our solar system - and prove what it can do on a simulation surface of Mars. We have designed a prototype and now we need your help to turn it into a real rover.

Why is exploring Mars important?

Mars rovers are designed to travel unmanned across the surface of Mars, investigating the red planet. Rovers need to travel unknown terrains, vapourise rock to analyse it and communicate from 140 million miles away. Creating a rover is a huge challenge, but the rewards of getting it right are immense.

A successful rover can look for evidence of water on Mars, explore the origins of life and even prepare for human exploration. And it could even help us here on Earth - past space missions have generated technology, for instance that can be used to detect TB more effectively in Africa. By entering the University Rover Challenge, we hope our design will help contribute to the design of official rovers in the future.


We are determined to help contribute to the design of future rovers that will really travel to Mars. When we're not working or studying our Open University courses, we're turning our living rooms into temporary workshops, Skyping each other with questions and researching engineering ideas as we prepare to compete in the University Rover Challenge.

We need your help

We need your support to build a Mars rover. The competition has a spending limit of £10,000, but we can build ours for around £3,000. You'll know you're a part of our team when we enter the competition and we have lots of rewards for our supporters!

Where will the money go?

  • £25 would buy a small circuit board
  • £60 would buy one of the six motors
  • £100 would pay to prototype the wheel design
  • £150 would buy basic sensors for movement
  • £300 would pay workshop fees
  • £500 would manufacture the custom design for the chassis
  • £2,000 would develop the prototype robotic arm

Follow our progress and share our story

Follow the development of our rover online through our Twitter and Facebook page.

We would be so grateful if you could share our story with friends and family who might be interested in space exploration. Thank you!

If you would prefer to make a gift offline please contact 01908 655044, we would be happy to take your pledge over the phone. Alternatively, e-mail with your name, the amount you'd like to pledge and your preferred method of contact once the campaign is over so we can contact you to take your donation. Thank you so much for your support!