Uzebox Coding Challenge

Uzebox Coding Challenge 2013

The 2013 Uzebox Coding Challenge is currently underway. This competition runs until June 1st, with registration open until April 1st. The Uzebox is an open source, 8 bit game console that uses only two chips: an ATmega644 microcontroller and a AD725 RGB to NTSC converter. We’ve featured it a few times in the past.

The competition rules are pretty loose: build a game or a useful piece of software that runs on the Uzebox, and fits in 61 kB. Entries will be judged on game play, originality, graphics, sound, completeness, and technical prowess. There’s prizes for the top six entries, including a few Uzeboxes and cash.

If you don’t have an Uzebox, check out the Uzem emulator. This lets you emulate the Uzebox hardware on Windows, Mac, or Linux. The emulator also has an internal GDB debug server to help with development. The low cost console can be built for about $30, and a number of kits are available.

Thanks to [Ben] for sending this in.

Write code, fix the space station, win $10,000


If you want something great to add to your astronaut application, this is your chance. If you can figure out a way to optimize the position of the solar panels for the International Space Station, you’ll win $10,000 from this TopCoder competition.

Positioning the solar arrays on the ISS is an incredibly complex task; if parts of the arrays are in the shadow of other parts, they’ll bend due to the temperature difference and eventually break. NASA would like more power to run science experiments and other cool stuff, so they’re turning to hackers so they can optimize the amount of power generated on the ISS.

Your goal, as a contestant in this completion, is to define the angular position and velocity for each of the joints that connect the solar panels to the station for every point in a 92-minute orbit. Limitations on any solution  include making sure the masts for each panel aren’t in a shadow more than they need to be, making sure the cycle can be repeated each orbit, and making sure the most power is generated on board.

The completion is open, so if you haven’t done enough matrix algebra this weekend feel free to sign up. In any event, you’ll get a cool CAD model of the ISS.