The Japan Space Elevator Association announces SPIDER

I received an email from Shuichi Ohno, President of the Japan Space Elevator Association (JSEA) telling me about a new racing event they are holding – SPIDER.  Shuichi had this to say about it:

“Today, I would like to introduce to you our new category SE climber activities. It is called SPIDER from it’s characteristic, right weigh, speedy, smart(will be).

Until this spring, we have been holding some kind of SE climber activities. But now, we categorize them in 3 series:

– LASER : Lego bricks Activities with Space Elevator Race (weight <500g)

– SPEC(SPEC in Japan, JSPEC for the world)  : Space Elevator Challenge (weight > 1.5kg)
Sub category ; SPEC class (<1km height)  and Full-SPEC (>1km)

– SPIDER : Light weight , inexpensive climber activities (500g < weight < 1.5kg)
Sub category ; Spider (Radio controlled) and Auto Spider (automated)

Distinction of SPIDER :
– Cheap : It is possible to build up with RC car kit parts and total amount in Japan is under $160 except RC  controller or micro board computer. ( Type 540 motor and Ni-mH battery, no expensive Li-Po battery)

– Easy to build ( but not too much easy) : Builder must work with drill and jig saw and file. EST to finish by high school techie student is 30 hours.

– Safety awareness : Builder must study and think about dropping provision and safety mechanism with break.  Those are very different point from other robot building activities.

– Automation : I t is very easy to change RC receiver to micro computer like Aruduino.

On June 8th, we held a mini-race with collage and university students. 8 climber came and 4 climber succeeded to climb in almost 10km/h ascend speed.

I would like to ask you to introduce this kind of activities on you blog. It is not so difficult to build a smart climber with RC kit / parts of recent-day.

Important thing : Energy of recent battery and power of motors may cut the belt very easily if tire/roller run idle much. Please consider to use the heat-stable material tether/belt. In Japan we strongly suggest to use aramid fiber belt. Before you climb, please do the run idle and tether cutting experiment.

Thank you.”

He also posted a video on YouTube relating to this:



Thank you Ohno-San and congratulations to JSEA.  Let’s hope that this competition gets copied around the world…

2 thoughts on “The Japan Space Elevator Association announces SPIDER

  1. kelly hodge

    Why has know one utilized a skyship in the making of the space elevator, skyship being a modern airship. You could fly this vehicle to the edge of space, with tether attached. then the beam would have a more stable target. than a hovering helicopter.

  2. kelly hodge

    And since we are within 10 years of having the tensil strength, should we not start building the base, because the infer- structure.
    needs to be in place to utilize the elevator to it’s full capacity.

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