Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2013 (ESA Member States)

Official Tournament Rules for ESA Participants


The Zero Robotics High School Tournament consists of five main stages:

·         Application

·         2D simulation competition

·         3D simulation competition

·         Alliance formation and semi-finals simulation competition

·         ISS competition.

The contest begins with several simulation competitions held online at the Zero Robotics website that gradually increase in difficulty. Finalists from the online simulation phase will proceed to the ISS, where an astronaut conducts a live competition with the SPHERES satellites and in microgravity! This final ISS event will be hosted simultaneously at MIT and at the European Space Agency's Technology and Space Research Centre, Noordwijk, Netherlands (ESA ESTEC) with special audio/video links: all finalist teams will be invited to attend.


Participation of European teams is restricted to teams resident in member states of the European Space Agency (ESA). The list of participating nations is:

Only teams from the listed countries will be approved for participation.


The Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2013 (the “Tournament”) is run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Systems Laboratory, 70 Vassar St., Cambridge, MA 02139 (“MIT”) and TopCoder, Inc., 95 Glastonbury Blvd., Glastonbury, CT 06033 ("TopCoder").  The Tournament is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA, and the European Space Agency (ESA) ("Sponsors").  The ESA Tournament is open to teams of ESA member states composed of high-school equivalent students who meet the application criteria and submit a valid application.  The eligibility and rules for the Tournament will be posted at the start of the Tournament.  By participating in the Tournament, each participant agrees to abide by the Tournament rules and to abide by the decisions of the Tournament administrators.

By participating in the Tournament, each participant agrees that under no circumstances, including, but not limited to, negligence, shall TopCoder, MIT, or the Sponsors, or their respective officers, directors, employees, shareholders, agents, successors, and assigns (the "Released Parties") be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damages arising out participation in the Tournament, even if any or all of the Released Parties have been advised of the possibility of such damages.


All members of European teams must attend an accredited high-school, Upper Secondary, or equivalent pre-college level programme (example: grades 9-12 in the USA, approximately ages 14-18 years old) in an eligible ESA Member State. All student participants must be 20 years of age or younger. Each team must be between 3-10 students.

All teams must have a primary mentor who is associated with the school as a teacher, lecturer, or staff. The primary mentor will be responsible for supervision and guidance of the team and to ensure the team has access to at least two computers with internet access (including access to Flash).

A school may have more than one team. During drafting, teams from same schools will not be allowed to form part of the same alliance. Same school teams must work independently from each other and cannot exchange students from one team to another at any point in the Tournament.

All the students in the teams must create their own Zero Robotics account and the team mentor/leader must create the complete team roster. Only the students registered in the Zero Robotics website team roster will be considered part of the team.

Each participating ESA Member State will have a limit of 25 teams. Each nation has their own acceptance policy as follows:


NOTE: The dates listed here are preliminary and subject to change.  We do not anticipate a change of more than a few days to the kickoff and final submission deadlines.

The Tournament begins at 19:00:00 CET on 2013-Sep-07 (Sat) and ends at 23:59:59 CET on 2013-Dec-15 (Sun) ("Tournament Period").  Registration for the Tournament will start 2013-May-31 (Fri) and HAS BEEN EXTENDED to 2013-Sep-25 (Wed). Participation constitutes Contestant's full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply.

Key dates:

September 7 (Sat)

Kickoff webcast live from MIT


Online simulation competitions

September 29 (Sun)

2D simulation competition deadline (end of "practice") - REQUIRED

October 27 (Sun)

3D simulation competition

November 2 (Sat)

Alliance formation event

December 1 (Sun)

Alliance submission deadline

December 15 (Sun)

ISS Final submission deadline

mid-January 2014

Final Event live from ISS!


Code and documentation submissions that are provided by participants to the web site (“Submissions”) will be shared publicly with all participants after the Tournament.  As a condition of participation, all participants and teams grant to TopCoder, MIT, and the Sponsors a perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to use, reproduce and publish any and all Submissions and to permit TopCoder, MIT, the Sponsors, and other third parties (including without limitation participants’ teammates, and other teams) to copy, modify, prepare derivative works of, make and use their Submissions.