Joining Rover Team

Congratulations on your interest in Rover Team! Rover is an extremely powerful and formative experience that will take you extreme lengths towards your goals at OSU. It provides an intense experiential learning opportunity – we’re doing this challenge because we want to, not because a professor is telling us to. The motivation is all student-driven, and we reap great rewards from it. Rover alumni are extremely successful, ranging from careers at SpaceX to founding Robotics companies that get purchased by Google. If you succeed throughout the year, it’s a great indicator of your prowess as an engineer.

That said, it’s not a walk in the park. We’re here to help you, but we’re not going to hold your hand. Prepare to spend you Saturdays working for Rover team: there are many long days and nights involved. There’s a test that will occur during spring break, and the final competition usually takes place during dead week of spring term. You will make sacrifices, but I can promise you they will be worth it if you stick with it.

Please read below to see the requirements that Rover has for this upcoming year. If you have any questions, please direct them to me ( or Dylan Thrush (

– Nick McComb
Mars Rover Team Lead

Requirements to Join

  • Be a member of the OSU Community
    • This usually means being an OSU Student. We welcome students of all disciplines!
  • Be a member of the OSU Robotics Club
    • This one is easy, just follow the instructions on our join page. We will check membership every week, after a few weeks into the first term, so make sure you get this done.
  • Be willing to dedicate your Saturdays to Rover Team.
    • We meet every week to discuss progress as a team, and then break off into projects for further discussion, as well as work parties. This isn’t just an update meeting, we work together as a group during these meetings. Rover meets at 12pm every Saturday throughout the term. The location for the next meeting can be found at

Requirements to Participate

What’s the difference between participating and joining? Joining means coming to meetings, whereas participating means contributing to Rover engineering design and implementation/fabrication. We’re only looking for experienced engineers to participate in our three “sub-teams” of engineers. But don’t fret! We’re happy to help you get the skills you need to participate.

We implement a “checklist” system to help us separate “learning” from “executing”. We acknowledge that these are never really separate, but we want to ensure everyone who makes it into the engineering section of our group has a basic set of skills, selected depending on your discipline. Please note that this doesn’t have to be your major, per say, but rather what you want to do in the Rover team. For example, a Computer Science student would be welcome on the Electrical Team if they passed the Electrical Team requirements.

We used the Mastery Challenge program in EECS to form a basis of eligibility for Rover Team. You must achieve the following requirements to participate in these teams.

Visit the Mastery Challenge Website here [link]. Note that you need an OSU login to be able to access the site.

Items without (Preferred) after them are required.

Computer Science Team Electrical Team Mechanical Team
  • Python Level 1
  • Python Level 2
  • Linux Level 1
  • Version Control Level 1
  • Linux Level 2 (Preferred)
  • OpenCV Level 1 (Preferred)
  • OpenCV Level 2 (Preferred)
  • ROS Beginner Tutorials (Non-Mastery)
  • PCB Assembly Level 1
  • PCB Design Level 1
  • Analog Circuits Level 1
  • Electronic Test Tools Level 1
  • AVR Microcontrollers Level 1
  • Solidworks Level 1
  • Solidworks Level 2
  • 3D printing Level 1 (Preferred)

To get these achievements, we highly recommend that you show up to Rover meetings and ask questions! During the first part of Fall term, our leadership will be focused on helping people get through this program. As you move up (and get more achievements) you can help others get where you are!

How to get started

  1. Browse the Mastery Challenge Website [link] to review the requirements of the achievements you are going for
  2. Submit your Mastery Challenge Username to this form [link].
  3. Opt-in to public viewing of your achievements
    • This capability is currently being written into the system, instructions will be placed here once it’s available.
  4. Complete your achievements!
    • Note that they can take up to a few weeks to be approved, however, the more people we get involved (and who can review, which you can do after 5 achievements) the faster the process goes.
    • Take advantage of other Rover team members’ knowledge! Come to our meetings and ask questions! We’re here to help you through this process.