Zero Robotics is a programming competition operated by MIT and NASA where teams of students work together to program robots that operate in zero gravity. Each year, the teams are given a challenge which they must program robots called SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites) to compete in. The competition begins virtually, using a simulator that mimics the actions of real-life SPHERES. It is split into multiple phases, each increasing the difficulty of the challenge by changing the rules and adding tighter restrictions. The final phase of the competition takes place using real-life SPHERES aboard the International Space Station in a live event.
Plasma Robotics has been participating in the Zero Robotics competition since its pubic inception in 2010. Our Zero Robotics team is made up of many members of Plasma Robotics, both programmers and non-programmers alike. Over the years, our team has been very successful each season, very often reaching the final phases of the competition.
The most recent Zero Robotics competition is called SPACE-SPHERES. In this challenge, teams must program their SPHERES to navigate a field of satellite parts and find their satellite building zone. Once they do, they must collect the satellite parts and bring them to their zone to collect points. So far into the competition, Plasma Robotics has passed the 2D and 3D phases and is currently competing in the Alliance phase.
More information about Zero Robotics can be found on their website.