The 4th Annual Zero Robotics Tournament will take place somewhere around mid January 2015. The specific date has not been set yet.
Finalists in this tournament will compete at the International Space Station using SPHERES robots that are coded by the teams of high school participants to use 12 gas-powered propulsion jets to navigate the International Space Station and avoid obstacles, as well as complete a specific mission that changes every year.
The mission for the 2014 tournament will be announced in September, which gives them 5-6 months of preparation time.
The competition is designed as an educational opportunity for students, who learn a great deal about coding, math, physics, working with others, and problem solving in general.
Before making it to the final round held on the ISS, teams must first complete a series of online simulations. The simulations are free of charge and increase in difficulty as teams advance through the rounds.
For the ISS competition, American teams will gather at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and European teams at ESA’s Technical Centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
The 2014 tournament will be held in mid January 2015 and officiated on site by ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.