by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Jun 12, 2013
Secondary-school students can play the ultimate robot game: the annual Zero Robotics tournament turns the International Space Station into a playing field for European students to control minisatellites with self-developed software.
Controlling volleyball-sized satellites in space is not easy. Spheres - short for Synchronised Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites - move around the International Space Station using 12 jets powered by compressed gas.
These autonomous robot satellites have their own power, propulsion and navigation. To master the Spheres, students must write code to fulfil a mission. The details of this year's mission will be revealed in September.
This is the third time European contenders have the chance to run their commands in space. The goal of this tournament is to build engineering skills for students, such as problem solving, software operations and teamwork.
From virtual to orbital
Competitors can create and visualise their code to get ready for the game from a web browser and free of charge.
Finalists from the online simulation will see their commands run by the Spheres satellites on the International Space Station transmitted live from space. Each finalist will be composed of a three-team alliance from different European countries.
The final event will take place in January 2014 with the US teams at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the European teams at ESA's ESTEC Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
Join the game
Find a mentor, register and start preparing your tactics!
Zero Robotics registration
SPHERES-Zero-Robotics - NASA
SPHERES at MIT
Aurora Flight Sciences corporation
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!
|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|