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2022.10.03
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The 3rd Kibo Robot Programming Challenge Preliminary Round Completed in Each Participating Country/Region!

  • Experiment at Kibo
  • Kibo Utilization Office for Asia (KUOA)
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Summary

The 3rd Kibo Robot Programming Challenge (Kibo-RPC)*1 began accepting applications on February 18, 2022, in the countries and regions participating in Kibo-RPC. A record number of 1,431 participants in 351 teams from 12 countries/regions applied (Table 1).

InIn the Preliminary Round, programs created by each participating team were run using the online simulator. Simulations were run for 10 patterns with various game conditions, such as target positions, etc., then the lowest scoring run competed for rankings.

Table 1 Number of participating teams by country/region (in alphabetical order)

Country/Region Number of Teams Number of participants
Australia 3 20
Bangladesh 25 182
Indonesia 10 47
Japan 34 156
Malaysia 19 88
Nepal 0 0
New Zealand 15 76
Singapore 9 29
Taiwan 20 105
Thailand 197 591
United States of America 18 68
Vietnam 1 4
Countries/regions outside of Kibo-RPC participating countries/regions (18)* 65
TOTAL 351 1431

*Number of participants from outside the Kibo-RPC participating countries/regions that participated by forming a multinational joint team (Worldwide Team (WWT))*2 with a teams from a Kibo-RPC participating countries/regions.

Preliminary Round

The Preliminary Round for each participating country/region was held by the respective organization (Point of Contact: POC) from late June to mid-July, 2022. Some countries and regions held the preliminaries as major events, and the events were reported to be very lively. Reports from the countries and regions that held preliminary events and the winning teams of each preliminary event are presented here in alphabetical order.

(1) Australia

Although multiple teams applied to participate, only one team was successfully able to submit a program. As a result, Dream Rover was selected as the winning team after the organization ran the program in a simulation environment for the preliminary round.

Australia winning team: Dream Rover

©ASA/OGL

(2) Bangladesh

Bangladesh announced the winner via email in July based on the results of the program run in a preliminary simulation environment by the responsible institution. An online event was then held to honor the winner. In this event, Engineers and other guest speakers from 3 countries (Bangladesh, Japan, and the U.S.) gave an overview of Kibo-ABC*3 and Kibo-RPC, as well as an introduction to Astrobee. Afterwards, Enigma Systems, the winner was awarded at a ceremony. The event is now available on social networking sites, so please check it out.

Bangladesh winning team: Enigma Systems

©NMST/STEMX-365

(3) Indonesia

Indonesia hosted an online event where simulation results were viewed with the students and then the results were announced. The winner was Bondowoso 3/Prime, which is a Worldwide Team (WWT)formed by teams from Indonesia and Tunisia. It was a very fruitful event, with presentations from experts in space robotics and observatories. The preliminary round has also been featured on YouTube and social networking sites.

Indonesia winning team: Bondowoso 3/Prime

©BRIN

(4) Japan

Japan hosted the preliminary round event online, with students participating remotely. The participants' programs were run in advance by JAXA in the simulation environment. The event was moderated by announcer ENOMOTO Remi, NAKASUKA Shinichi, Professor of the University of Tokyo, and JAXA Astronaut YUI Kimiya explained the simulation videos and presented the results. The event also included a panel discussion on "Space, Robots, and Their Future," featuring a panel discussion was also held by engineers from JAXA and SEC Co. LTD., a Kibo-RPC supporting company. . The winning team was Space Lark. Please check out the video of the event on YouTube. After the preliminary round event, an online exchange session followed, where students had the opportunity to talk with Professor Nakasuka and Astronaut Yui, meet JAXA members, and engage in lively discussions about programming among the students.

Japan winning team: Space Lark

(5) Malaysia

Since it was during the holiday period in Malaysia, the results were announced to the students via email and on the website. The winner was IIUM ROBOTEAM AEROS-02. No events were held during the preliminary period, and the Kibo-RPC awards ceremony is planned to be held in time for National Science Week in October, where the winners will receive their certificates and prizes.

Malaysia winning team: IIUM ROBOTEAM AEROS-02

©MYSA

(6) Nepal

Nepal was not held for the preliminary round in the country due to difficulties in preparing for the participation.

(7) New Zealand

New Zealand held no preliminary event, instead, the responsible organization ran the programs in a simulation environment for the preliminary round, and the winner was Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords.

New Zealand winning team: Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords

(8) Singapore

Singapore held no preliminary event either, instead, the responsible organization ran the program in a simulation environment for the preliminary round, and the winner was SpaceY.

Singapore winning team: SpaceY

(9) Taiwan

Taiwan held a preliminary event online, and the ranking was determined based on unique evaluation criteria (program simulation results: 70%, presentation on the day of the preliminary event: 15%, and a promotional video created by the participants introducing their team and strategy: 15%). The result was that KIBO la na tsu bu KIBO/Robology Awesome Aliens, which is forming WWT with the Tunisian team, won the competition. You can find the details of this preliminary round on their website.

Taiwanese winning team: KIBO la na tsu bu KIBO / Robology Awesome Aliens

©NSPO

(10) Thailand

Thailand had the largest number of participating teams among the Kibo-RPC participating countries/regions, with 86 out of 197 teams submitting their programs for the preliminaries. The top 40 teams were announced in advance and participated in the preliminary event. Director of JAXA Bangkok Office attended the event to report on JAXA's activities and encouraged the students to participate in the Kibo-RPC.
After viewing the simulation results with the students, the ranking was announced. The winner was solarSystem [3]. Thailand preliminary event included presentations by the teams, with presentation prizes awarded to first-place Bug Not Found and second-place Astronut. Details of the event have been posted on social networking sites and on their website, so check it out.

Thailand winning team: solarSystem[3]

©NSTDA

(11) The United States of America

The USA, participating for the first time, had 16 teams from 12 states and 68 students participating in the 3rd Kibo-RPC, including 4 teams that formed WWTs with teams from India, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia. The preliminary event, held online, featured former astronaut Stephen Swanson as a keynote speaker, who gave words of encouragement to the students. The winner of the competition, CP-HSTAR was then announced after viewing the simulation results.

U.S. winning team: CP-HSTAR

©NASA

(12) Vietnam

There were multiple teams applied to participate, only one team was successfully able to submit a program for the preliminary round. Instead, the responsible organization ran the program in a simulation environment for the preliminary round, and BDMT was selected as a representative team.

Vietnam winning team: BDMT

©STI

(13) Worldwide Team(WWT)

The winning team of WWT was determined by the simulation results of all 18 WWT that participated in the Preliminary Round of each country/region. However, the top 2 teams had already won the Preliminary Round in Indonesia and Taiwan. As a result, Bondowoso 2 / Pinnacle (Indonesia/Tunisia), the team with the next best result, received a ticket to the on-orbit Final.

WWT winning team: Bondowoso 2 / Pinnacle

©BRIN

The winning teams from each country/region in the preliminary rounds received tickets to participate in the on-orbit final competition on the ISS. In the on-orbit final, the winning students' programs will be installed on Astrobee free-flying robot in the ISS to compete in the speed of completion of the game mission and the accuracy of laser irradiation, etc. Teams from each country/region are currently preparing their programs and making final checks for the on-orbit final, to be held around October, so please look forward to seeing which team will win the competition.
For the teams that didn't make it to the finals this year, we hope that they will take what they learned and experienced from this event and apply it to their endeavor in the future. We plan to hold this event again next year, so we encourage all students to give it a try!

Table 2 List of national/regional Representative Teams (in alphabetical order)

Country/Region Representative Team Name
Australia Dream Rover
Bangladesh Enigma Systems
Indonesia Bondowoso 3 / Prime
Japan Space Lark
Malaysia IIUM ROBOTEAM AEROS-02
Nepal -
New Zealand Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
Singapore SpaceY
Taiwan KIBO la na tsu bu KIBO / Robology Awesome Aliens
Thailand solarSystem[3]
The USA CP-HSTAR
Vietnam BDMT
Worldwide Team (WWT) Bondowoso 2 / Pinnacle
(Indonesia/Tunisia)

*1 Kibo-RPC
Kibo-RPC is a collaboration of JAXA and NASA based on Japan-U.S. cooperation through the Japan-U.S. Open Platform Partnership Program (JP-US OP3) to promote Kibo utilization in the Asia-Pacific region and to contribute to the SDGs (human resource development). Through these activities, the program provides educational opportunities for students in the area to learn about robot operation and computer programming in space.

*2 Worldwide Team (WWT)
WWT is a new framework to allow teams from outside the Kibo-RPC participating countries/regions to participate in Kibo-RPC by forming a joint multinational team. This has allowed students from Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia to participate.

*3 Kibo-ABC
Asian Beneficial Collaboration through Kibo Utilization (Kibo-ABC) is a collaborative initiative under the framework of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF). It aims to promote Kibo utilization in the Asia-Pacific region, and Kibo-RPC is a part of Kibo-ABC activities. Prospective teams to the Kibo-RPC must submit an application form to the space agency or designated organization of their Kibo-ABC member country/region participating in the Kibo-RPC.

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