The Zero Robotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge is a programming tournament that opens the SPHERES satellite research platform to the general public. The goal of the tournament is to develop write a computer program to control a satellite (called a “Tender”) to enable it to dock with a space object (or POD) that may be tumbling through space. The best algorithm submissions from simulation during the contest will be tested using real satellites, called SPHERES, in zero gravity aboard the International Space Station’s (ISS) newly formed SPHERES Laboratory..
The Contest is run by TopCoder, Inc., 95 Glastonbury Blvd., Glastonbury, CT 06033 ("TopCoder"), and sponsored by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Systems Laboratory, NASA, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ("Sponsors"). Employees of TopCoder, and the Sponsor’s employees participating in any way in the design, promotion, marketing, advertising, administration or fulfillment of this Contest, and their immediate families and persons living in the same household are ineligible to participate in this Contest.
The Contest begins at 13:00:00 U.S. EDT on March 28, 2012. and ends at 20:00:00 U.S. EDT on April 25, 2012 ("Contest Period"). Registration for the Contest will be ongoing during the contest period and ends at 20:00:00 U.S. Eastern Daylight Time (“EDT”) on April 20, 2012. During the contest you or your teammates will need to submit software solutions to the competition problem. You also will need to complete a short written description of your approach A Winner will be selected from each of the milestones and from the final submissions and will be announced within two days of the deadline. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE SUBMITTED DURING THE CONTEST PERIOD. Entries submitted before or after Contest Period will not be considered or judged. Participation constitutes Contestant's full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply.
Milestone Deadline 1
Submitted by 20:00:00 EDT on April 4, 2012
Milestone Deadline 2
Submitted by 20:00:00 EDT on April 13, 2012
Milestone Deadline 3
Submitted by 20:00:00 EDT on April 20, 2012
Final Submission Deadline
Submitted by 20:00:00 EDT on April 30, 2012
To be eligible for testing on the ISS, the finalists from the three milestone submissions must submit an entry in the fourth round, and the final submission will be used for the demonstration event.
The Contest is designed to encourage the development of software ("Algorithm") that solves a fundamental research problem. In this contest all participants will compete to program an active satellite to synchronize its motion with and dock with a tumbling, passive space object. Code submissions will automatically be scored based on their performance in solving the problem based on a model of the scenario. The Contestant with the best solution from each Milestone will be selected as a Winner for that Milestone. If a Contestant is top ranked in two Milestones, the Contestant with the next best solution will be selected as a Winner for the later Milestone.
The solutions submitted will be used for research purposes, and will be made publicly available at the end of the contest. The best solution from each Milestone will be made publicly available for everyone to refer to and use in their own solution. By submitting a solution, you will be giving the sponsors and other competitors permission to use your submission. See the ownership and rights section below for more details.
Questions regarding the problem statement may be posted to the public contest forum. Participants may discuss the competition and solution approaches in the contest forums.
See the Privacy section below for further details on how we will use your data.
HOW TO ENTER
All participants will register as part of a team. Teams may include 1 to 50 team members. Competition registration takes place on ZeroRobotics.org (http://www.zerorobotics.org/web/zero-robotics/registration/form?tournamentId=6). Registration is ongoing, and must be completed by must be completed prior to the first milestone to participate in all four milestones, and by 20:00:00 EDT April 23, 2012 to partipate in the final judging.
are made under the Resources => Team Management section of the website.
Select your team, select “Submissions,” then choose a project. If the project
compiles successfully, the submission will be placed on a queue for automated
testing. When your submission has been processed, you will be able to see a
ranking on the leaderboard and the results of all matches with a visualization
tool. If a Contestant has a pending submission on the testing queue it will be
cancelled if the Contestant submits again.
All Contestants are encouraged to improve their solutions and resubmit iteratively throughout the length of the submission phase. The most recent Submission is always the one that counts, so if you enter a Submission that does not score as well as a prior Submission, the most recent will still be the one that counts in the standings. All programs must be written in the C programming language using the online programming interface.
Contestants must not cheat or in any way try to subvert the goals and aims of the Contest. Contestants must not include any material in a submission that would violate any laws, obligations, or agreements.
In general, teams must submit their own work, however, there are a few specific exceptions. Specifically, code that is not originally developed by the submitter is allowed if properly attributed and if it falls into one of the following 4 exceptions:
· Exception #1: Submissions can include model and sample code provided on the web site by MIT.
· Exception #2: After the first week, submissions can include code from the milestone winning submissions, which will be published on the competition web site.
· Exception #3: Submissions can include code that is deliberately published in the public forums by other teams.
· Exception #4: Submissions can include publicly available “open source” code that is licensed under an OSI-approved license (see opensource.org) provided that doing so does not prevent use of the submission as it is intended to be used in this Contest, otherwise violate the rules of this Contest, or violate the terms of the open source license.
Proper attribution means including comments in the code that clearly designates which code that was not originally developed by the members of the submitting team and acknowledges the origin of the code and provides a link to the forum post or web site from where it was obtained.
Your Submission may not have been entered in previous contests, nor won previous awards, nor may your Submission have been previously published or distributed in any media. Your Submission is intended for a family audience and must, in the sole and unfettered discretion of TopCoder, be suitable for a general audience. The Submission may not be offensive or otherwise unsuitable for use, as determined in TopCoder's sole discretion. The Submission may not include functionality other than that needed for the intended purpose of the Contest.
as described in the above specific exceptions, the content of the Submission
must not be subject to the rights of any third parties, other than TopCoder,
the Sponsors and/or their licensors. Submissions may not promote third party
products or services, or incorporate third party intellectual property (unless
otherwise permitted by the collaboration rules), including, but not limited to
copyright protected software, images, characters, logos, names and trademarks.
TopCoder shall not be responsible for reviewing Submissions that are unworkable
for any reason.
As a condition of participating in this Contest and by submitting an entry(ies), each Contestant agrees to permit TopCoder to describe, publicize, and link to your Submission for public viewing. By participating in the Contest, you are granting TopCoder: (1) The right to place links to your Submission for download/viewing on the Contest web site. (2) The right to host your Submission on the Contest web site and other web sites of TopCoder's choosing. A Contestant may terminate participation in the Contest prior to announcement of the winners upon written notice to TopCoder, however the permissions and rights granted will remain. Additional permissions are also granted as described below in the “Ownership and Rights” section.
OWNERSHIP AND RIGHTS
a condition of participation, all Competitors hereby grant a perpetual,
royalty-free, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to TopCoder and the Sponsors:
(a) to use, reproduce and publish such Submissions or material in connection
with the Contest; (b) to permit TopCoder, Sponsors, your teammates, and other
teams to copy, modify, prepare derivative works of, make and use your
Submissions in their Submissions as permitted in these Rules, with the
understanding that your Submissions, portions of your Submissions, or
derivative works of your Submissions may be part of the winning Submission; (c)
to publicly display, and/or feature your Submission and all its content in
connection with the promotion of this Contest in all media (now known or later
developed); and (d) store your Submission on TopCoder or the Contest's Sponsors
servers for marketing purposes, and/or for the promotion of the Contest. You
agree to sign any necessary documentation that may be required by TopCoder or
its designees to make use of the rights you granted above. If you are under
the age of majority in your jurisdiction, you represent and warrant that you
have your parents’ permission to participate and your parents’ agreement to
As a condition of participation, Contestants agree that all Submissions will be licensed to TopCoder for unrestricted use by TopCoder and the Sponsors to the extent that they are or are incorporated into winning Submissions. Contestant grants and agrees to grant to TopCoder under any and all such rights an irrevocable, paid-up, royalty free, perpetual, exclusive, sublicensable (directly or indirectly through multiple tiers), transferable, and worldwide license to use and permit others to use such Submission in any manner desired by TopCoder (and/or the Sponsors) without restriction or accounting to Competitor, including, without limitation, the right to make, have made, sell, offer for sale, use, rent, lease, import, copy, prepare derivative works, publicly display, publicly perform, and distribute all or any part of such Submission and modifications and combinations thereof and to sublicense (directly or indirectly through multiple tiers) or transfer any and all such rights. Further, each Contestant waives and agrees to waive in favor of TopCoder any moral right or other right or claim that is contrary to the intent of a complete license of rights to TopCoder. Contestants agree to promptly execute such documents and perform such acts as TopCoder may reasonably require to perfect TopCoder's license rights and permission.
Competitors also agree to release their submission under the open source license, Apache License, Version 2.0 (http://www.opensource.org/licenses/Apache-2.0 ).
You also understand and acknowledge that TopCoder, the Sponsors, and/or other Contestants may have developed or commissioned materials similar or identical to your Submission and you waive any claims you may have resulting from any similarities to your Submission. Nothing in these Rules shall be construed as granting you any right or license under any intellectual property right of TopCoder (including any rights they may have in any patents, copyrights, trademarks, service marks or any trade secrets) or in TopCoder's web site, by implication, estoppel or otherwise, except as expressly set forth herein.
Submissions will be judged according to the criteria provided in the problem
All of the judges’ decisions are final and binding in all respects.
Prizes will be awarded as follows:
Each of the four finalist submissions (one from each Milestone Deadline and one from the final deadline) will be demonstrated in a test session aboard the ISS at a date to be determined, currently expected to be in late May. Finalist teams will be eligible for a partial travel reimbursement of up to $1000 per team for travel within the United States to and lodging near MIT to view the event live. Due to the challenges of scheduling a test session on the ISS, MIT cannot guarantee an exact date for the demonstration event. At the time of the event, MIT will provide a live webcast feed to watch the testing remotely.
To be eligible for testing on the ISS, finalists from the three milestone submissions must submit an entry in the fourth round, and the final submission will be used for the demonstration event. The best performing finalist submission in the ISS testing will receive an additional commendation.
Contestants must be active participants and meet all eligibility criteria in order to be eligible to receive any prize.
No prize substitution is allowed except at the discretion of TopCoder. Contest prize winners and runners-up cannot assign or transfer their prize to another person. If a prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of TopCoder, a substitute prize of equal or greater retail value may be awarded. Prizes will be awarded, subject to the limitations stated in these official rules. Any costs or fees not specifically listed herein are the responsibility of Contest winners and runners-up. Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of Contest winners and runners-up, and Contestants may be issued an IRS Form 1099. This Contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law, and subject to applicable federal, state provincial and local laws.
REQUIREMENTS OF WINNER/PUBLICITY
Contest prize winners and runners-up must provide TopCoder with the required Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release prior to the awarding of any prize. MIT may require a Taxpayer Identification Number ("TIN") and other documentation for travel reimbursement. In the event of a dispute as to authorship of a Submission, TopCoder reserves the right to disqualify any Submission, Contestant, or winner or runner-up; TopCoder's decisions are final. Contest prize winners will be required to sign and return releases of liability, declarations of eligibility, and where lawful, publicity consent agreements. By agreeing to become Contest prize winners Contestant agrees to the use of his or her name, voice and/or likeness, and entry, for the purpose of advertising, trade, or promotion without further compensation, unless prohibited by law. If a selected Contest prize winner or runner-up cannot be contacted, is ineligible (under these rules or due to a failure to comply with any of the other applicable policies, licenses, rules, and terms of service, fails to claim a prize, or fails to timely return the completed and executed releases/agreements as required), the prize may be forfeited and an alternate potential winner and/or runner-up may, at TopCoder's discretion, be selected.
is subject to these Official Rules. By participating, Contestant agrees: (i) to
be bound by these complete Official Rules and the decisions of TopCoder which
shall be final and binding; and (ii) to waive any right to claim ambiguity in
the Contest or these Official Rules, except where prohibited by law. TopCoder
reserves the right to cancel or suspend the Contest, in its sole discretion,
should it receive fewer than 20 entries, or due to circumstances beyond its
control, including natural disasters. TopCoder may, in its sole discretion,
cancel, modify or suspend the Contest should a virus, bug, computer problem,
unauthorized intervention or other causes beyond TopCoder's control, corrupt
the administration, security or proper play of the Contest. TopCoder may
prohibit a Contestant from participating in the Contest or winning a prize if,
in its sole discretion, it determines such Contestant is attempting to
undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, deception, or
any other unfair playing practices of intending to annoy, abuse, threaten,
undermine or harass any other Contestants or TopCoder representatives.
By participating in the Contest, Contestant agrees that under no circumstances, including, but not limited to, negligence, shall TopCoder or the Sponsors or their licensors, its and their respective officers, directors, employees, shareholders, agents, successors, and assigns, and all prize providers (the "Released Parties") be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damages arising out participation in the Contest, even if any or all of the Released Parties have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, therefore such exclusions may not apply to you. TopCoder and the Sponsors affiliates, subsidiaries, licensors, advertising, promotion, and fulfillment agencies, and legal advisors, and prize providers, and the respective employees, officers, directors, shareholders, agents, and representatives of each, are not responsible for and shall not be liable for: (i) any errors in Contest-related materials, or late, lost, delayed, damaged, misdirected, stolen, incomplete, illegible, or unintelligible, notices, releases, forms, affidavits, or other correspondence; (ii) telephone, electronic, hardware or software program, network, Internet, or computer malfunctions, failures, interruptions or difficulties of any kind; (iii) failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer transmissions; (iv) any condition caused by events beyond the control of the TopCoder that may cause the Contest to be disrupted or corrupted; (v) any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising in connection with or as a result of the prizes, or acceptance, possession, or use of the prizes, or from participation in the Contest or arising from the Contestant's access to and use of the Internet site http://www.topcoder.com, http://zerorobotics.org, or http://www.nonamesite.com, including without limitation, personal injury, death, and property damage, and claims based on publicity rights, defamation, or invasion of privacy, to the extent permitted by law; or (vi) any errors in any materials associated with the Contest. TopCoder reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Contest if any problem corrupts the administration, security, or operation of the Contest, as determined by TopCoder in its sole discretion. TopCoder reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any Contestant it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, TopCoder reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. TopCoder's failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.
All Contest submissions will be shared publicly with all participants and may be published. Participants may be publicly identified by their username in such published research. Contact information provided by Contestants for this competition will be available to TopCoder and MIT and may be provided to the other Sponsors, and may be used by TopCoder or the Sponsors to contact Contestants during or following the Competition for the purposes of administering the Competition and research. Aggregated or anonymized data may be provided to other researchers or published in journals. Your handle (username), competition statistics, and submissions will be made publicly available at the close of the competition. All information is considered to be collected on the MIT campus in the United States, and except as set forth in this paragraph, the use of any personally identifiable information is subject to the terms of theZero Robotics Privacy Statement located at http://www.zerorobotics.org/web/zero-robotics/privacy. By entering the Contest, the Contestant acknowledges that TopCoder and MIT will collect, process and use the personal data provided by the Contestant in connection with and for the purpose of administering of the Contest. Usage data and network connection data also will be collected.
The location of this Contest is the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts govern this Contest. As a condition of participating in the Contest, Contestant agrees that any and all actions or proceedings related to the Contest shall be exclusively brought in the courts of the Commonwealth if under state law), or U.S. District Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (if under Federal law), and the parties agree not to raise in connection therewith, and hereby waive, any defenses based upon the venue, the inconvenience of the forum, the lack of personal jurisdiction, the sufficiency of service of process or the like in any such action or suit brought in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
WINNERS LIST AND OFFICIAL RULES
A winners list will be posted on the web site http://www.zerorobotics.org until 90 days after the end of Contest. To obtain a copy of the winners list or a copy of these Official Rules, send your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: TopCoder, Inc., Attn: Zero Robotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge, 95 Glastonbury Boulevard, Glastonbury, CT 06033. Requests must be received no more than 90 days after the end of Contest. To find out more about Zero Robotics, visit www.zerorobotics.org. If you have any questions regarding these Rules, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.