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Call for team participation in the 3rd Kibo Robot Programming Challenge (Kibo-RPC) and extension of participation framework

February 18, 2022 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announces hosting the third Kibo Robot Programming Challenge (Kibo-RPC) using free-flying robots*1 in the International Space Station (ISS)/Japanese Experiment Module known as "Kibo", extending the participants’ framework, and call for team participation.

The Kibo-RPC has been held for students in Japan and the Asia-Pacific Region twice in the past and has featured an increasing number of participating countries/regions over the years. To respond to the requests from students in non-Kibo-RPC participating countries/regions, JAXA establishes a new participation group, Worldwide Team, to allow them to participate with a condition*2. The competition contributes to the SDGs in education and human resource development, and it provides more opportunities to students worldwide, and opens internationally. The participating teams join the Preliminary Round in a country/region using the simulator in July 2022; the winners earn a ticket to compete in the Final Round*3 to be held in the Kibo module in Fall 2022.

May 16, 2022

[Entry Qualification]
- Students up to graduate school in Kibo-RPC participating countries/regions
- Worldwide Team: A mixed team composed of a team from outside the Kibo-RPC participating countries/regions and a team from Kibo-RPC participating countries/regions.

This activity is based on Japan-U.S. cooperation through the Japan-US Open Platform Partnership Program (JP-US OP3). For JAXA and NASA to expand Kibo utilization in the Asia-Pacific region, an education program for operating robots and computer programming is being offered to students in Kibo-ABC*4 member countries/regions, including Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. Under the JP-US OP3 framework, JAXA and NASA have been expanding their collaboration to the US students’ participation for the first time.

The competition will have multiple challenges and will use Kibo as the game space. The participating teams must write the code*5 necessary to run the robot in the Kibo module and will compete on speed and the ability to respond to challenges while completing assigned tasks.

*1 An autonomous flying robot intended to support astronauts (by taking photos, etc.)
*3 The secretariat will announce whether we hold the event onsite or online depending on the COVID-19 situation.
*5 Participants shall write the code necessary to move the free-flying robot autonomously using the virtual simulator provided by JAXA and NASA.