Life on Mars is one step closer to “virtual” reality as nine winners have been announced for the first phase of HP Mars Home Planet–a project that pairs creators using Launch Forth product design platform with virtual reality to simulate a utopian civilization of one million people on Mars.
From buildings, vehicles, farms and clothing, this co-creation project of professional architects, engineers, designers and artists from around the world explores how one million humans could thrive on the red planet given its climate and atmospheric challenges.
HP Mars Home Planet runs on Launch Forth, a product design platform where more than 120,000 designers, engineers and others meet. The platform allows people to collaborate on ideas, solve problems, and create solutions for challenges using open innovation to accelerate the product development process.
HP Mars Home Planet launched as a three-phase, yearlong project in August when HP Inc., NVIDIA and Launch Forth teamed with Autodesk, Epic Unreal Engine, Fusion, HTC Vive, Microsoft and Technicolor.
In the first phase of Mars Home Planet, participants submitted conceptual designs for the buildings, vehicles, smart cities, and transportation systems that will support one million humans in an area of Mars called Mars Valley. The challenge broke Launch Forth’s record of 34,000 participants and close to 500 entries in around two months.
The winners, who, will be awarded $38,080 in total prizes, were determined by public voting and a panel of judges that included Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society, an architect, an industrial designer, and Andrew Anagnost, chief executive officer of Autodesk, and five others.
First-round winners were named for their innovation in infrastructure, transportation, architecture, design, engineer, and science. Yih Foo Looi of Malaysia, for example, won in the innovation in engineering realm with the project “Living Environments from Hostile Wastes” while Jorge Moreno Fierro of Columbia won in the design category with the project “Bio System.” Meanwhile, in the science category, the Lake Matthew Team from the United States won with its “Artificial Geomagnetic Field to Protect a Crewed Mars Facility from Cosmic Rays” entry.
Phase two of HP Mars Home Planet, the 3D modeling competition, is now open for submissions through Feb. 25, 2018. Participants use Autodesk software to create 3D models of buildings, city infrastructure, vehicles, sports stadiums, city parks, schools, furniture, and anything else that might be found in a utopian Martian human civilization of one million humans. Participants can create whatever they desire.
Winners will bring their 3D models into Technicolor’s Unreal Engine, with creative and technical leadership from that company, to create a VR simulation of what life on Mars could be like for its one million residents. The environment will build on Mars Valley terrain from Fusion’s Mars 2030 game, which is based on NASA Mars research and high-resolution photography.
The entire project looks to a time in the future where there are families and communities living a utopian lifestyle on Mars. The goal of the project is to engage creative thinkers to solve some of the challenges of urbanization on the red planet. Ultimately, through the VR experience, people here on Earth will be able to experience what life on Mars might be like.