A group of students from the University of Saskatchewan who designed and built a Mars rover took home first place at a competition that attracted robotics teams from around the world.

It took over a year for the Saskatchewan engineering students to design, build and test the robot that was showcased at the European Rover Competition in Poland. 

The Saskatchewan group competed against 40 other teams from around the world in the competition, including teams from other Canadian universities. 

The competition forced the students to get creative by innovating their own parts for the robot -- which has six wheels, a robotic arm and drill.

“Unfortunately, there is no robotic stores that you can go to pick up the rover parts off the shelf, so a lot of the stuff we build from scratch,” said Austin Shirley, one of the robot’s creators. 

Shirley said after the announcement was made at the competition, it took his team took nearly a minute to realize they’d won. 

“Saskatchewan is very hard to pronounce in polish, we so were doubting at first if they actually said us or something else, but we were really happy to hear it,” Shirley said. 

The team says they are already preparing to defend their title next year by upgrading their current robot and building another one. 

With a report by CTV Saskatoon’s John Baglieri