CIRC 2019 Rules

All participation in the 2019 Canadian International Rover Challenge is subject to the following rules. The set of rules posted on this page is the sole official rule set and is subject to change. Any issues not covered by these published rule sets will be addressed on a case-by-case basis by the CIRC Organizing Committee. Questions may be submitted to [email protected].

See also: CIRC 2019 Competition Tasks



    1. The 2019 Canadian International Rover Challenge (CIRC 2019) will commence on August 9, 2019 at the Badlands Community Facility in Drumheller, Alberta.

    2. Teams should arrive and register with competition organizers between 10:00 and 18:00 MDT.

    3. The first competition tasks will begin at approximately 21:00. CIRC 2019 will conclude during the afternoon of August 12, 2019.


    1. Entry into CIRC 2019 is limited and subject to the approval of the organizing committee.

    2. Interested teams should submit a formal expression of interest using a form available on the CIRC website ( in order to be considered.

    3. Invited teams must pay the non-refundable registration fee of $310 CAD to confirm entry into the competition.

  3. VISAS

    1. All international teams requiring visas for entry into Canada are required to provide proof of visa application to [email protected] by March 1, 2019 to retain their entry in the competition.

    2. Teams requiring letters of invitation from CIRC must pay in advance for expedited or tracked delivery if requested.


    1. Participating teams will be classified as either “competition” teams or “exhibition” teams.

    2. Competition teams consist of secondary or post-secondary students, optionally accompanied by non-student advisors who may not directly participate in rover design, construction, or operation.

    3. Exhibition teams are not required to be composed of students, are not scored, and are exempt from several of the rules below.

    4. Competition teams will retain priority access to event facilities and task sites.

    5. Competition teams may elect to reclassify as exhibition teams at any time subject to organizer approval.


    1. During the competition teams should store, work on, and test their rovers at the Badlands Community Facility.

    2. The facility will be supervised and open to teams 24 hours per day.

    3. The facility will be open to the public during normal business hours.

    4. Teams are encouraged to interact with each other and the public, and must behave in a fashion which reflects well upon their institution and the competition.

    5. Guidelines will be released in advance of the competition regarding building services including food preparation in the building.


    1. International teams are responsible for ensuring that all team members and rover components are admissible into Canada.

    2. Information regarding border crossings can be found on the Canadian Border Services Agency website (

    3. If in doubt, teams should contact CBSA in advance or plan on purchasing parts in Canada before the event begins.


    1. No aircraft may communicate with the rover or rover operators, or be used to aid completion of rover tasks.

    2. Pilots must remain outside of the base station during competition tasks.

    3. Any person operating an aircraft must understand and comply with all Canadian aviation regulations and local laws.

    4. While CIRC takes no responsibility for teams’ use of aircraft, an informational guideline is available on the CIRC website.


  1. MASS

    1. Competition teams must attempt competition tasks using a single, self-contained, ground-based rover, which should have a mass below 50kg.

    2. The rover should be carryable by two team members without the use of a wheeled cart.

    3. Each full kilogram rovers are below 50 kg at the beginning of each task results in a 1% score bonus for that task; for each full kilogram above 50 kg, a 5% penalty will be applied.

  2. TIME

    1. Competition team rovers should be able to operate continuously for one hour.

    2. At least one hour of downtime will be provided between tasks.


    1. Competition team rovers must be capable of operating within the terrain and weather conditions which may naturally occur during a competition task, including rain, mud, darkness, etc.

    2. Site terrains vary between naturally compacted soil and loose ground. Some sites may include vegetation.


    1. Competition team rover systems must be conceptually suitable for operation on Mars (no air breathing systems, etc).

    2. Rover components are not required to be space-grade.


    1. The construction and operation of all rovers must comply with the CIRC Rover Safety Requirements unless an exemption has been granted.

    2. Exemptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis by submitting a request to [email protected], including the problematic requirement and proposed alternative.

    3. Rovers will be subject to safety compliance inspections by organizers whenever the rover is operational. Teams must resolve any issues to the satisfaction of the inspecting organizer before continuing operation.

    4. All rovers will be required to pass an initial safety compliance inspection at some point between registration and the start of their first competition task.

    5. Sufficient evidence (such as schematics, datasheets, calculations) of safety compliance must be provided to competition organizers upon request.


    1. All rover communications systems must comply with all applicable Industry Canada Regulations (

    2. Teams must acquire all necessary permissions and qualifications for their equipment.

    3. Any team found to be operating equipment in contravention of these regulations, or in a manner which maliciously interferes with other teams’ activities, will be disqualified.

    4. The use of interference-tolerating protocols and cooperation between teams is strongly encouraged.


    1. Rovers are not required to operate autonomously.

    2. Tasks may award additional points based on the degree of autonomy demonstrated.

    3. Autonomous operation is defined as the rover fully completing a scored task requirement without any input from a rover operator.


    1. Competition teams must submit a final rover expense report by August 1, 2019. If necessary teams may submit an updated soft copy during sign-in at the event.

    2. The maximum team budget is $20 000 USD, using the most advantageous currency conversion rate documented between October 1, 2018 and August 1, 2019.

    3. The team budget includes all rover components and base station equipment (exclusive of personal computers), but does not include spare parts, tools, or travel expenses.

    4. Receipts and other evidence should be retained.

    5. Gift-in-kind donations and sponsorship count towards the budget at fair market value unless an exception has been provided by the CIRC Organizing committee.

    6. The $2000 credit from ProtoCase is excepted.

    7. Teams are required to use the CIRC specified template for expense reporting, available on the competition website.

Task Participation


    1. Task site judges are the final authority on task rules and procedure, and may impose penalties for flagrant or repeated violations.

    1. Each competition team will be scored for each task according to a rubric available from the competition website: CIRC 2019 Scoring Rubric.

    2. Final task scores will be rounded to the nearest whole number.

    3. The lowest achievable score for each task is zero.

    4. Teams may submit written appeals regarding task scores to [email protected] within one hour of receiving formal notification of their score.

    5. The competition team with the highest total score after all tasks are over and all appeals are resolved shall be declared the winner of CIRC 2019.


    1. Teams will have at least 15 minutes of setup time to prepare their rover and base station at each task site.

    2. Teams may not unload equipment at the task site until a task judge has indicated that setup time has begun.

    3. Teams’ task time begins when the setup time expires.

    4. After the task is over, teams will have at least 10 minutes of takedown time to clear all of their equipment from the task site.

    5. Teams which have not cleared the task site by the end of their takedown time may be penalized at a rate of 1 point per minute.


    1. A Base Station will be provided at each task site which will consist of a partially enclosed trailer or tent.

    2. Base stations will be supplied with electrical power (120V 60Hz nominal, 1kW max).

    3. Competition teams must operate their rovers from within the base station at all times during tasks such that the rover is not visible to the operators.


    1. A location for the placement of team radio equipment at each task site will be designated within 90m of the base station.

    2. All competition team equipment used for rover operation must be set up either within the base station or at the antenna site.

    3. 100m of cat6 ethernet cable and 14 AWG power extension cord will be provided to connect the base station to the antenna site, and teams may supply additional cabling if required.

    4. A simple antenna mast will be provided at this location, and its specifications may be found on the competition website. Teams may substitute their own antenna mast, but its height must not exceed 4m.


    1. A limited number of members will be permitted to accompany the task judge following the rover during tasks.

    2. Team members following the rover should maintain a 5m following distance and refrain from any action which could be interpreted as communication with the rover operators.

    3. Additional team members should remain within the base station or spectate from outside the task area as defined by the judges.

    4. Rover operators must not communicate with spectators.


    1. An intervention allows competition teams to repair the rover during task time, or judges to interrupt problematic behaviour.

    2. Competition teams may not touch or interfere with the rover during a task except during an intervention.

    3. Any judge or team member at the task site may call an intervention, at which point the rover’s kill switch will be pushed and it will be carried back to the base station.

    4. During an intervention, team members may freely repair or test the rover, but must not discuss any details of the task or task area which could aid rover operators.

    5. If judges feel that inappropriate communication has taken place during an intervention, a 20% score penalty will be applied.

    6. If any interventions are called during the task, a single 10% penalty will be applied to the final task score.