International teams of students participate in Zero Robotics High School Finals, an MIT competition in which they collaborate with astronauts to test their code and control robots in the International Space Station.
This year, a team from Tecnológico de Monterrey joined the competition, celebrated at the MIT Campus in Cambridge. The team is composed by students from two high schools of Monterrey and the State of Mexico.
Zero Robotics gives students access to the research facilities of the International Space Station, with the goal of building critical engineering skills, like problem solving, operations training, and team work.
The robots they control, called SPHERES, have the size of a basketball and can be programmed to turn, rotate, float, and navigate. Researchers use SPHERES to test flights, automation, and landing.
The experiment is carried in an ISS capsule, supervised by an astronaut. This year’s game had the goal to simulate the finding and collection of material with microorganisms. To win, the students must avoid having contact with an irregular topography and be conscious about the possibility of accidentally activating geysers.
The tournament is sponsored by NASA, CASIS, ESA, Roscosmos, and the University of Sidney.