KIBO Robot Programming Challenge

Missing Tools on ISS!

Astronauts are preparing for an experiment and essential tools are missing aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Help them recover their tools by programming robots to navigate the station and locate the tools using image processing!

Deadline: 13 May 2024

What is KIBO Robot Programming Challenge (RPC)?

The KIBO RPC was created by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in 2020 in partnership with member countries of the KIBO Asian Beneficial Collaboration initiative. Students are challenged to solve complex problems onboard the International Space Station (ISS) by programming free-flying robots (Astrobee) to complete various assigned tasks.

Mission Outcomes

  1. Acquire programming skills required to become a free-flying robot expert capable of controlling and orientating robots in the unique setting of space
  2. Gain practical experience in applying programming skills to address real-world challenges relevant to Crew Support Practice, fostering a deeper understanding of astronaut assistance in space.
  3. Learn how to create efficient real-world simulation programs and gain industry knowledge through networking opportunities 
  4. Gain the exclusive opportunity to represent Singapore and run your program on Astrobee in real-time on the ISS

Activities

  1. Guidance sessions conducted by JAXA and Space Faculty that will prep you with the necessary skills for the competition (Limited slots!)
  2. Post-competition workshop for participants to share about their experience and learn from other participating teams
  3. Networking opportunities with other participants and professionals from the Asia-Pacific region

Mission Outcomes

  1. Acquire and hone your programming skills in the unique setting of space
  2. Learn how to create real-world simulation programs that perform well despite uncertainties and within errors of margins
  3. Become a free-flying robot expert capable of controlling and orientating robots performing assigned tasks in ISS through simulation trials

KIBO-RPC is a Robot Programming Challenge created by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in 2020 in which students solve various problems by programming free-flying robots (Astrobee and Int-Ball) in the International Space Station (ISS)

Why should you join KIBO-RPC?

  1. Learn skills outside what is being taught in class and apply them in this challenge.
  2. Gain the exclusive opportunity to run your program on Astrobee in real-time on the ISS.
  3. Network with other participants and professionals from the Asia-Pacific region and gain industry knowledge.
  4. Stand a chance to represent Singapore on this prestigious international space platform.
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Team Requirements

  1. A team must comprise of 3 – 6 members and must appoint a team leader
  2. Students in the team must be based in Singapore or be Singaporeans based abroad (15 years old and above, to graduate level)
  3. Each member is only allowed to register with one team (no individual registration)
  4. All team members must have a valid email address
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Schedule of KIBO-RPC 2024

1 April

Access to Astrobee Simulator

13 May

Registration Closes

June

Workshops, Self Learning, and Program Development

June - July

Preliminary Round (TBC)

November

International Finals (TBC)

Activities

  1. Attend guidance sessions conducted by JAXA and Space Faculty that will prep you with the necessary skills for the competition (Limited slots!)
  2. Meet and connect with international participants from Asia-Pacific region
  3. Get a chance to watch ISS astronauts run your program on Astrobee in real-time on the ISS
  4. Post-competition workshop for participants to share about their experience and learn from other participating teams

Rules of KIBO-RPC

  1. Launch Astrobee from the docking station.
  2. Once started, Astrobee will autonomously patrol several candidate sites within the KIBO module, searching for the prepared objects while avoiding restricted areas marked as “Keep Out Zones.”
  3. After completing its patrol, Astrobee will return to the astronaut and report the objects (including images) it has found and their locations.
  4. To further assist, Astrobee will ask the astronaut to identify specific items by referencing an image they hold.
  5. The astronaut will then approach the desired object and take a picture of it.
  6. Upon capturing the photo, the signal lights will illuminate, guiding the astronaut to the object’s location, and marking the end of the game.
 

Hear it from our past representatives

  • The competition was an enjoyable journey where we got to learn so much about quaternion orientation and path planning in the face of uncertainty.
    Le Quang Anh
    Moonmen Group, Nanyang Technological University
  • Joining the Kibo-RPC was an unique experience for me. I felt like we were solving real problems on the ISS. It introduced me to concepts that I wasn't exposed to in school and I really enjoyed the process! The whole showcase during the finals was very exciting and I'm just humbled that our code was running on the ISS! I am motivated to work on my deep tech skills and find ways to contribute to SG's space industry.
    Ng Jing Hang
    Moonmen Group, Nanyang Technological University
  • It was interesting to learn about the current technologies being implemented in the ISS, and also have a chance to interact with the platforms.
    Tan Yi Xian
    Moonmen Group, Nanyang Technological University

Past KIBO-RPC

Resources

Organised by

In Partnership with

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Frequently Asked Questions

In this challenge, you will be developing codes to program Astrobee, NASA’s free-flying robotic system on the International Space Station. The Astrobee system runs primarily on Java and consists of three cubed-shaped robots, software and a docking station used for recharging. Astrobee uses electric fans as a propulsion system, allowing them to fly freely through the microgravity environment of the station. 

8GB RAM is required to install the Astrobee simulator on your computer (16GB RAM recommended) You will also need to install Android Studio on your computer to run the programs.

No, you must develop your program with Java only. Astrobee’s guest user program is designed as Java application which work on Android device. There might be inconsistency when installed in Astrobee if you mix the languages.

While it is good to have some basic knowledge in Android programming and image processing in Java, beginners to coding can still sign up. If you require guidance sessions from JAXA, or need more help in coding, do let us know and we will provide you assistance!

Before the preliminary round, you are allowed to change your team members.

If you are based in Singapore, or a Singaporean, please drop Gillian (gillian.chin@spacefaculty.asia) an email and we will get back to you shortly. 

If you are based in Singapore, or a Singaporean, please drop Gillian (gillian.chin@spacefaculty.asia) an email and we will get back to you shortly.

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