Florida middle school students and their teachers watch the Zero Robotics finals competition broadcast live via webex from the International Space Station. The Florida teams are at the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Students designed software to control Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, and competed with other teams locally.
The Zero Robotics is a robotics programming competition where the robots are SPHERES. The competition starts online, where teams program the SPHERES to solve an annual challenge. After several phases of virtual competition in a simulation environment that mimics the real SPHERES, finalists are selected to compete in a live championship aboard the space station. Students compete to win a technically challenging game by programming their strategies into the SPHERES satellites. The programs are autonomous and the students cannot control the satellites during the test. Photo credit: NASA/Daniel Casper