|Robot competition in zero-gravity|
|OTHER / ACADEMIA / Thursday, 26 January 2012 11:20|
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 André Kuipers set up the individual matches in Japan’s Kibo laboratory on the Space Station and enjoyed the spectacle.
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.
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.
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.
For further information, please contact:
Head of Education Unit
Directorate of Human Spaceflight and Operations
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|Last Updated on Thursday, 26 January 2012 11:21|