Notice of “Space Elevator Climber x Robotics Competition (SPECxROC)”


Japanese ]

Space elevator is the most promising as a mass transportation system connecting celestial body surface and the space including the earth. It was mere a dream, but the turning point was the discovery and analysis of carbon nanotube (CNT) by Mr. Sumio Iijima in 1991. The CNT is expected to be the cable material (tether) having the strength required for construction of the space elevator on earth. In 2009, the Japan Space Elevator Association commenced development experiments and competitions (Space Elevator Challenge = “SPEC”) in which a tether made of aramid fibers hung from balloons and climbers run along the cable. In 2013, the climber reached altitudes up to 1,200 m and exceeding 100 km/h.

In the summer of 2019, the Japan Space Elevator Association (JSEA) will organize the competition event SPEC x ROC, that is the combination of climber lifting and robot activity. Robot will be lifted by a climber to the designated altitude, will descend to the ground from the height and do designated action on the ground. The English notation of the event is Space Elevator Climber x Robotics Challenge, and the abbreviation is SPECXROC.

As the next step, we will not only raise and lower the climber itself, but also the challenge of loading cargo as a step of the mass transportation system. And the payload will be the robot as added value, instead simple load such as sandbags.

In this challenge, participants shall not only to lift a robot which weight is 8kg, but also shall consider elements such as the centroid, radio interference to the remote control of the loading device, and so on. 
There are several reasons for adopting a robot.
1) At altitude of orbital station and other stations, when the space elevator is to be constructed, there      should be assembly works such as space photovoltaic power generation equipment, where the risk of exposure to cosmic rays is high, so it is conceivable that more robotic work will be utilized.  
JSEA encourages the development of high mobility robots for space by incorporating it into the competition.
2) When the space elevator will be constructed with extra-terrestrial objects such as on Mars, it is conceivable to throw the construction robot from the middle of the cable prior to the transportation of the material for the construction of the ground part.
3) It may be necessary to cooperate between device on the climber and on the cargo for loading, moving, detaching, etc., the robot may be considered as a cargo side device.
4) JSEA believe we can offer new challenging target for robot technology development.

Below is the outline of the competition. JSEA will inform you of detailed information from time to time.

Venue: Fukushima Robot Test Field 
Scheduled date: 14th and 15th September 2019
Participation briefing session: March 2019
Deadline of Application for the Participation   May 10, 2019 (Fri)
Start accepting Prequalification Document      May 11, 2019 (Sat)
Deadline of Prequalification Document           May 31, 2019 (Fri)
Publication/Notification of Prequalification     June 10, 2019 (Mon)
Pre-Meeting by Participants                           August 31, 2019 (Sat)
ompetition Categories: Space Elevator Climber
                                      Robot (We do not set categories for students, companies, individuals etc.)
Scheduled altitude: 100 m
Regulation: TBD [PDF page and paste a link]
Requirement and Specifications: TBD [PDF page and paste a link]
Prequalification: Free 
Competition: 10,000JPY/Team (Gear)
Approximately 2,000JPY will be added per person for the reimbursement of Insurance policy and related administration. 

Awards : In addition to introduction of excellent teams on the web and entry to pamphlets, awards

Note 1) Milestone date may be altered. Questions and/or request will be accepted at SPECxROC@jsea.jp.
Note 2) Application for Participation is available. However, e-mail covered all requirement should be accepted.

  1. Name of the Team
  2. Team representative
  3. Category to participate: Climber, Robotics, Both
  4. Team Members
     ・Supervising Teachers (if, any)
     ・Sponsors (if, any)
     ・Contact phone, e-mail, posting address (only of the representative)
  5. Purpose of Participation (Brief description will be recommended.)
  6. Outline Explanation of your Gear  ex: Robot with two legs descend on the floating
      device with thruster system. )
  7. Documents explain the compliance to regulations
      Drawings, sketches, narrative documents, footages etc.. 
      will be accepted if we will be able to confirm the compliance of regulations. We may ask alternative
      documents if necessary.
      There will be possibilities such as scale change, postponement, cancellation, etc. due to weather,
      supply status of helium, number of participants and so on.

For inquiries, please contact SPECxROC@jsea.jp.