Zero Robotics is a NASA/MIT sponsored program in which FIRST Team 2130 has participated. This program builds lifelong skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and allows students to see examples of real-world applications for the skills they develop in robotics. Zero Robotics began in 2009. Our team, Absolute Zero, was one of only two schools that participated in the pilot year of Zero Robotics.

Zero Robotics is a robotics programming competition where the students use SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites) that are inside the International Space Station (ISS). The competition starts online, where teams program the SPHERES to solve a challenge, which changes every year. There are several phases of virtual competition in a simulation that mimics the real SPHERES. Finalists who are selected then upload their code to the actual SPHERES aboard the ISS.

Since its beginning, hundreds of teams from around the world have joined Zero Robotics. Absolute Zero attended the final competition at MIT in 2009, where, for the first time, students’ code was uploaded to the ISS. The team attended the final competition for the second time in 2012.

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