The goal of the EclipseCon Mars Rover Challenge was to either score the highest score or to submit the best controller client, based on e4, the upcoming generation of the Eclipse Platform.
The idea to write an iPhone based client came to us when we saw the Mars Rover in action for the first time. After having dropped our laptops at our hotel room, we realized we wouldn’t be able to take part in the rover competition that very evening without a computer. “Wouldn’t it be awesome to use our iPhones as a controller client for the Mars Rover”, we thought?
No sooner said than done! And yes, as you can see on the pictures and in the video, controlling the Mars Rover with the iPhone is a lot of fun!
The criteria for the competition clearly stated that in order to win the prize for the best client, you needed to submit an e4-based client, so we knew right from the start our iPhone would not qualify for the prize of the best client. Despite this fact, we still built the iPhone client, investing quite some time (the video indeed has been shot at 4 o’clock in the night) to get the details right.
When we gave the first demos of the running client, people where truly overwhelmed. The jury told us that we “clearly do not meet the competition criteria”, but “if this had been a wild competition, your client would clearly have won”. When all competition finalists and winners were announced at the closing session of the conference, we were given an honorable mention. Press caught up quickly – please have a look at our press section for a list of articles covering the iPhone Mars Rover and high-resolution media.