Kibo Robot Programming Challenge

Save ISS with Robots!!!
Emergency alert is activated!!
A meteor crashed to the International Space Station and the air is leaking.
Create your own program to operate the robot and stop the air leakage.
JAXA needs your help.
Get your program uplinked immediately!!

What's New

Date Note
December 25, 2019 The simulation environment has been updated. The following features were added:
   • Disturbance element
   • Keep In Zone / Keep Out Zone
   • Visualize planned path and actual path
Revised guidebooks and programming manuals are now available on the download page.
Added FAQ page.
November 20, 2019 Simulation environment and Programming Manual are released.
Revised Guidebook and Programming Manual are now available on Download page.
November 12-15, 2019 JAXA conducted a simulation verification test of Kibo-PRC, in collaboration with NASA's Ames Research Center (ARC).
KUOA news:
October 11, 2019 Call for participation has started.

Your Mission

Your mission is to create a program to operate Astrobee and stop the leakage by pointing the laser.
Since limited number of programs can be sent to Astrobee in ISS/Kibo, JAXA seeks several best candidate programs from the Asia Pacific region and the United States.
Let's join the competition. Int-Ball will support Astrobee as a camera drone.

What is Astrobee?

Astrobee, NASA's new free-flying robotic system, will help astronauts reduce time they spend on routine duties, leaving them to focus more on the things that only humans can do.

(Link to NASA website)

What is Int-Ball?


Int-Ball is a free flying camera robot aiming to reduce crew time and ultimately to zero for routine video-shooting tasks by crew in ISS/Kibo.

(Link to JAXA website)

Entry Qualification

  1. Students up to graduate school in Kibo-ABC member country expressing the participation in the Kibo-RPC can apply for the competition.
  2. A team is comprised of more than 3 members.

*1 Kibo-ABC countries:
Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Rep. of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.

*2 Kibo-RPC countries (As of October 2019):
Indonesia (LAPAN), Japan (JAXA), Singapore (SSTA), Thailand (NSTDA).
(JAXA is now coordinating participation of other countries.)

How to Enter the Kibo-RPC

  1. Please read carefully the Kibo-RPC Guidebook section1.

  2. Fill in the Application Form and submit to Kibo-RPC point of contact (POC) of your country listed below.

    Participating countries of Kibo-RPC (As of October 2019):
    (JAXA is now coordinating participation of other countries.)

  3. Kibo-RPC POC will inform you ID of your team via email.

High-Level Schedule

Event Schedule

  • October 11th 2019: Call for Participation
  • March 19th 2020 (JST 17:00): Application Deadline
  • April - June 2020: Preliminary Round
  • Qualification Round
  • September 2020: Final Round in ISS/Kibo

Release of Simulation Environment

  • November 20th 2019: Initial Release
  • December 24th 2019: 2nd Update

Game Story

A meteor shower entered the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) at 400 km above the ground. One of the meteors hit ISS, and a part of the ISS module was damaged causing air leakage.

The damaged section turned out to be the Japanese experimental module “Kibo”. We need to identify the damaged place and repair it using Astrobee because the air pressure is getting lower in “Kibo” and scattered items prevent astronauts to enter “Kibo”. In order to identify the damaged place precisely, we must search in “Kibo” module and find the leak point by collecting information using Astrobee with the support of Int-Ball being as a camera robot. Then we need to weld it with a laser. Without proper welding, the damage may expand. The time is limited!!

When air leaks from a hole made by a meteor, some scratches on the walls and floors were made by the scattered items in “Kibo”. By analyzing each scratch, we judge whether it is the cause of the air leak point or not. Until the air leak point is identified, we must continue our search. Therefore, image processing is indispensable for analyzing scratches with the Astrobee’s camera. At this moment, the air leak point seems to be small enough to be welded with the Astrobee's laser based on the drop rate of the air pressure in ISS. However, if the Astrobee’s laser targets a wrong spot, it may expand the hole.

Accuracy of the location and the laser pointing is the key for stopping the air leakage successfully.

Currently, astronauts are in a process of evacuation and flight controllers on the ground are busy supporting them. We want to leave Astrobee's control to each country's volunteers to save “Kibo”!

* This story is a fiction.