Team DIANA is a space robotics group at Politecnico di Torino run by students. The group designs and manufactures prototypes of wheeled planetary rovers.
The acronym DIANA stands for Ducti Ingenio Accipimus Naturam Astrorum, which translates to guided by ingenuity, we understand [receive] the nature of the stars.
DIANA was born in 2008 and Professor Emeritus Giancarlo Genta was its academic advisor until 2018. Currently, the group is led by Professor Fabrizio Stesina; Leonardo Festa is the Team Leader, Alessandro Meloni is the Project Manager and Edoardo Vacchetto is the Assembly Integration and Test manager.
I joined the group in 2012 and I was promoted to team leader the following year. I led the team until 2015 when I got my MSc in Aerospace Engineering. During my PhD I continued to work with the team by mentoring younger students and providing support for the development of the prototypes. Even today, that I am no longer a student, I enjoy to keep in touch with the team and marvel at the progress made so far.
As team leader I had to manage tens of students coming from different countries and having diverse engineering backgrounds. I took care of recruitment and training activities, managed the budget and the network of suppliers and guided the development of the version 3.0 of the AMALIA prototype.
From a technical standpoint, I focused on structural and multibody dynamics analyses of the mobility system using software like Patran/Nastran, Adams e Matlab/Simulink. In 2014 I started a fruitful collaboration with MSC Software that led to the development, for instance, of multibody analyses of the AMALIA 3.0 and T0-R0 prototypes.
Today the team is doing better than ever developing new and more sophisticated vehicles and taking part in the European Rover Challenge, an international event where groups of students showcase their planetary rovers and compete with each other in a series of challenging tasks.
I would like to conclude this post with two image galleries. The first one shows all the prototypes developed by the team so far in chronological order.
The second one is a collection of pictures taken over the years.
If you want to know more about the team, take a look at its YouTube channel and Instagram/Facebook pages.