The ESA Zero Robotics Challenge is the world’s first robotics competition in outer space. It challenges students to write algorithms or computer instructions that control Spheres – that’s short for Synchronised Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites – on the International Space Station.
Your algorithms have to make the droids capture a spinning space object or perform an autonomous rendezvous and docking. The volleyball-sized satellites have their own power, propulsion and navigation systems.
How your school can take part
Students must submit their team before 27 September to be in with a chance to win.
If your school is interested in competing or following the event, tune in to the webcast live from Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Saturday 8 September at 17:00 (GMT) and tweet questions to the organisers.
Contenders will receive vital information about the space game, its rules and tips for a winning project.
Competitors can create and visualise their code, all from a web browser and free of charge. The contest will involve up to 25 teams per European Space Agency member state, including Ireland.
After playing against other teams in simulation rounds to get the highest scores, six European finalists will get a chance to run their code on the Space Station.
Each finalist will consist of a three-team alliance from different European countries. In January 2013, the winners will get to see the Spheres responding to their commands in space.
For more details see the European Space Agency website. And don’t panic if you miss the webcast – you will be able to replay it next week on the ESA’s website.
Visit the competition’s Zero Robotics website.