About CIRC

The Competition

The Canadian International Rover Challenge (CIRC) is a rover competition open to post-secondary student design teams from all around the world. Similar to other competitions, such as the University Rover Challenge, European Rover Challenge, UK Rover Challenge, and the Indian Rover Challenge, teams will simulate what it would be like as an early colony on an extraterrestrial planet. Teams will bring their prototype rover to help them accomplish challenging scenarios. The rovers will be faced with completing various tasks that future rovers will be expected to perform. These include traversing varying terrain, autonomous operations, operating a dexterous arm and much more!

The competition is a valuable addition to the education of anyone with an interest in science and technology. It offers a great opportunity for teams to put themselves to the test and show their abilities on an international stage. The challenges presented to teams will encourage and reward innovative and creative design. However, only one team can win it all!

The event is also open to spectators! This means anyone is able to come and experience the thrill of the event by talking to participants and volunteers about their rovers. Spectators should be able to see the rovers in action. There is no admission fee for spectators.

Carleton Planetary Robotics Team University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team Missouri S&T Mars Rover Design Team
Teams involved in CIRC 2017


The competition was first hosted in July of 2017 by the University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team (USST). The purpose of the event was to provide an opportunity for teams to test their rovers outside of the shops and labs that they were made. This experience laid the foundation for what is now an annual event.

CIRC 2017 took place at the Midland Provincial Park just outside of Drumheller, Alberta, Canada. Three teams participanted in the inaugural event:

  • University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team
  • Carleton Planetary Robotics Team
  • Missourri S&T Mars Rover Design Team

Now, CIRC is a yearly event, taking place every August in Drumheller, Alberta. The first ever Winter Edition of the challenge took place in Feruary 2024, in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The Organizers

The competition is hosted by the Canadian Space Technology Advancement Group (CSTAG). This not-for-profit organization was formed by USST alumni that ran CIRC 2017 on behalf of the student group. After the positive experience, and feedback received from the small trial run of the competition in 2017, it was decided that it would be best for an independent not-for-profit organization to be formed in order to host the competition, and allow it to grow.

Since then, the orgranization has grown to accept members from multiple other participant teams such as Carleton Planetary Robotics Team and welcomes other former student particpants with open arms. Our base of experience from students who have actively participated on the very teams hosted by the event provides the experience from which enables GSTAG to host one of the most innovative and excting student robotics compeitions in the world.

The Canadian Space Technology Advancement Group’s objective is to organize and host educational activities related to the promotion and development of space technology. CSTAG is composed of and operated by volunteers.