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Romanian team, I-Robot, the overall winner at IRISS Space Robotics competition

on 06 January 2016

The European Space Agency (ESA) welcomed more than 30 students to its ESTEC Headquarters in the Netherlands for the finals of the IRISS Space Robotics, which took place on 17-18 December. The mission of the eight teams was to use models of the International Space Station (ISS) and of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to unload as much cargo as possible in a given time. The task forced the teams to acquire a wide range of skills, reflecting the process ESA engineers follow when developing a spacecraft. Teamwork and an efficient division of labor were required to tackle the challenge.

The category winners were:

iriss 1 (11-13 years old): I-Robot from Romania

iriss 2 (14-16 years old): Johanneum robotics from Germany

iriss 3 (17-19 years old): Team Specialisterne from Denmark

The three winning teams then had one final round against each other with the I-Robot team from Romania emerging as the overall winner.

The standard of the competition was high, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen being particularly impressed with the variety and ingenuity of the different mechanisms and solutions used by teams. Andreas is the ambassador of the IRISS Space Robotics educational project and was acting as a judge during the competition together with two further judges from the Robotics and Education teams at ESA.

Students also received inspiring presentations about Andreas’ mission to the ISS and robotics projects at ESA. The students also received a tour of the ESTEC High Bay and a virtual tour of the ISS.