Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




ROBO SPACE
Robot competition in zero-gravity
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Jan 27, 2012


The robots move using jets of compressed gas and are required to perform manoeuvres based on realistic situations, such as docking, formation flying or retrieving objects.

School teams from Europe and America have been commanding robots competing in the Spheres ZeroRobotics tournament in space. The arena: 400 km above Earth on the International Space Station.

Student teams could send a single piece of instruction software to control the small robotic 'Spheres'. The goal of the tournament was to earn points through masterful operation via guidance and navigation control algorithms as well as choosing the best tactics to win the game. This year's winner an alliance consisting of teams CyberAvo, Ultima and Lazy, a collaboration of three schools from Turin, Italy and Berlin, Germany.

Astronauts Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers set up the individual matches in Japan's Kibo laboratory on the Space Station and enjoyed the spectacle.

The Spheres are controlled via laptops but once the software has been sent to the robot it cannot be changed.

The robots move using jets of compressed gas and are required to perform manoeuvres based on realistic situations, such as docking, formation flying or retrieving objects.

The game this year involved extracting minerals from asteroids, hence the name of the game Asterospheres. The free-floating satellites could collect tools if needed and start mining on one of two virtual asteroids.

Strategy was an important element of the game - teams could hinder their opponents or cooperate to share more points overall.

The European finalists were invited to watch how their command software performed in the finals in the Erasmus centre in ESA's scientific and technical heart at ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

The students were able to appreciate the delicate three-dimensional dance performed by the Spheres via video live links with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Boston, USA, and the International Space Station.

Before the finals, the secondary-school students visited ESTEC's test centre, the Erasmus High Bay and enjoyed a 3D virtual tour of the International Space Station.

Spheres ZeroRobotics was developed to teach students skills in engineering, mathematics and programming, while inspiring students to continue their careers in science and engineering.

Stefano Suraniti, the Minister of Education for the Piedmont region in Italy, told the students: "Robots do have a soul, and their soul is your imagination, your future."

Former astronaut Thomas Reiter, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations, observed it was a special event for him because he was one of the astronauts who flew an original Sphere to the Station in 2006 on a Space Shuttle mission. He noted the importance of robotics for working on the Station.

By organising the competition into teams, the students were required to cooperate and develop software and strategy together. Many teams found effective communication with their assigned international partners the most challenging part of the competition.

This was the third Spheres competition and the first time that students outside of the USA were invited. Only schools from Germany and Italy took part this year but ESA and the Spheres organisation hope to expand the tournament next year to include schools from all of Europe.

.


Related Links
Zero Robotics
Spheres at NASA
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ROBO SPACE
NASA Joins MIT and DARPA for Out-of-This-World Student Robotic Challenge
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 23, 2012
NASA will join the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and high school student teams from the U.S. and abroad for the third annual Zero Robotics SPHERES Challenge on Monday, Jan. 23. The event will take place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass., and be broadcast live on NASA Television from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST. For ... read more


ROBO SPACE
Moon looms bright over Republican debate

Rocket Man: Gingrich peddles space dreams in Florida

Roscosmos Revives Permanent Moon Base Plans

Russia talks of permanent moon base

ROBO SPACE
Durable NASA Rover Beginning Ninth Year of Mars Work

Mars Rover Finds New Evidence of Water

U.S. Denies Link to Mars Mission Failure

Three Generations of Rovers with Crouching Engineers

ROBO SPACE
Toronto teens send Lego man into space: video

Volunteers Sought for Simulated Mars Mission and Study of 'Menu Fatigue'

2012 - Year of the Dragon

T-rays technology could help develop Star Trek-style hand-held medical scanners

ROBO SPACE
China's satellite navigation sector annual output predicted to reach 35 bln USD in 2015

China plans to launch 21 rockets, 30 satellites this year

Shenzhou 9 Behind the Curtain

China Plans to Launch 30 Satellites in 2012

ROBO SPACE
Russia Orbits Chibis Microsatellite

Russian Space Freighter to be Buried in Pacific

Progress Space Freighter Undocks from ISS

Russian cargo vessel takes off for space station

ROBO SPACE
MT Aerospace wins contract for operation and maintenance of launch facilities' mechanical systems

Proton-M, Dutch Satellite Taken to Launch Pad

Delta 4 Launches Air Force Wideband Global SATCOM-4 Satellite

Stratolaunch Systems Announces Ground Breaking At Mojave

ROBO SPACE
NASA's Kepler confirms 26 new planets

Earth's Cloudy Past Could Reveal Exoplanet Details

Re-thinking an Alien World

Scientists Discover a Saturn-like Ring System Eclipsing a Sun-like Star

ROBO SPACE
World's most powerful X-ray laser creates 2-million-degree matter

First 'cloaking' of a 3D object announced

Netflix gains subscribers, shares surge

Fusion: X-ray laser zaps solid to 2 million degrees




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement