Zero Robotics is a programming and robotics challenge that takes place in space aboard the International Space Station, utilizing satellites known as SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites) in an experiment that is designed to benefit ongoing scientific research with real world application. The SPHERES were originally developed by MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory for NASA and the US Military to test and develop algorithms and ideas in a zero gravity environment that could be later utilized for larger spacecraft and other types of future space missions.

The initial development of SPHERES started in 1999, by a team of students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The concept of the satellite was conceived when Professor David Miller challenged the students to develop a device similar to the combat training remote seen in the 1977 movie Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Every year through Zero Robotics, thousands of students across the world compete in the ISS Finals Tournament, which sees the best codes of regions, states, and countries go head to head in a live-match up performed by the astronauts in orbit. Their mission (and ours) is to inspire the next generation of great minds by giving them unprecedented access to space at the middle school and high school levels.

Making the benefits and resources of the space program tangible to students is crucial for the development of the next generation — it helps prepare them for the future and develop essential science, technology, engineering and math skills at an early age through healthy, immersive, collaborative competition.

The Zero Gravity team is very proud of our collaboration with Zero Robotics. Our film is just one inspirational story out of a program that has continued to provide incredible opportunities for thousands of students, beginning in 2011. We absolutely encourage students, parents and teachers to engage with and the Zero Robotics program and help support our film too.

Visit the Zero Robotics website for more information on the competition and updates on when it will return. If you would like to help and support our mission, click below.