onder Dynamics

Dream Bigger

Yonder Dynamics

Dream Bigger

What we do

Yonder Dynamics is a student robotics organization at UC San Diego formally established in Fall 2016. As our primary project, we designed and built an autonomous Mars rover for the annual University Rover Challenge (URC), a prestigious international competition for college students. Out of 82 semifinalist teams from 13 different countries, Yonder Dynamics made UC San Diego history by becoming the first team from our school and the only team from the UC system in 2017 to make it to the final round. For this achievement, we were featured on local news and by our school newsletter. Our rover Courage, built in a record three months, finished in 29th place.

Above all, our people are our mission. We believe in developing individuals from the ground up to prepare them for their future endeavors. Now with over thirty active members from a variety of backgrounds, we pride ourselves on inclusivity—robotics is for everyone.

- Yonder Dynamics Team


The University Rover Challenge (URC) is the world's premier robotics competition for university students. Held annually at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), URC challenges student teams to design and build the next generation of Mars rovers that will one day work alongside astronauts exploring the Red Planet.


Yonder Dynamics is split into 4 specialized subteams.


Our software subteam developes the processes for the operations of our rover. The subteam constructs subroutines for autonomous traversal, terrain mapping, motor controls, arm manipulation, remote communication, and data analysis. All of the competition tasks require a robust and reliable software stack for the rover to perform.


Our motions subteam engineers all mechanical aspects of the rover: the drive system, chassis, arm, and scientific devices. The reliablilty and performance of the mechincal systems is the bedrock for all operations of the rover.


Our science subteam cooperates heavily with other substeams to develop the theories and methods for determining the prescence of extraterrestrial life. We employ theoritical and experimental techniques from astrobiology such as spectroscopy, chemical analysis, and microbiology to analyze soil for the presence of extinct or extant life. Our members utilize their interdisciplinary knowledge from mechincal electrical engineering, computer science, and the natural sciences to design and build the instruments for life detection.


Our electrical subteam provides power for the rovers systems, as well as wire management, power budgeting, safety, PCB design, and hardware organization. Their eletrical expertise supplies the other subteams with the freedom to develop brilliant solutions to the competition challenges.

Join Us

We are always looking for talented and passionate people to join our team.
If you are interested in joining Yonder or hearing more about what we do, check back on this page in the beginning of Fall 2020 for our official recruiting schedule, or get in contact with any members that you know.
Keep up with what we are doing on our Instagram or Facebook pages.

Our Members

Luke Piszkin, 3rd Year Physics-Biophysics

Project Manager/Science Team Lead

Cyrus Cowley, 3rd Year Computer Science

Software Co lead, hair is no longer red

Clara Blatchley, 4th Year Mechanical Engineering

Drive/Chassis Team Lead 2019-2020

Alex Mai, 4th Year Probability & Statistics

Software and Electrical Colead. Me code good. Math major btw.

Pius Lee, 2nd Year Mathematics/ Computer Science

Ashik Simon, 2nd Year Mechanical Engineering

Karl Johnson, 1st Year Electrical Engineering

My main passions lie in the photonics field within electrical engineering, but at Yonder I spend most of my time implementing and improving the electrical systems needed to run the rover.

Rawan Zayter, 2nd Year Neurobiology

Analytical science team

Lexseal Lin, 1st Year Undeclared

I am a first year on Yonder’s software team. I like to rock climb

Michael Maddy, 2nd Year Computer Engineering

Davin Tjong, 2nd Year Computer Science

I like to code, I like climbing, I play euphonium, I fold origami

Many thanks to our Sponsors

And to our Indiegogo backers

Nancy A Smith   Rachel Smith   Tiffany Huynh   Alvina Lee   Mary Pham   Anita Mahajan   Yunuo Liu   Jon Donnelly   Tony Mai   Eric Jonasch   Alex Smith