After a highly successful pilot program to determine if the use of crowd sourcing held potential to positively affect NASA’s ability to accelerate and augment research and development efforts, the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI) was established by NASA in November of 2011 at the request of the White House. Since its inception, research into the use of crowd sourcing has been at the heart of NASA’s effort, and that research has provided data-driven analysis to validate the value of the tool as well as enabling strategies to support more effective operational implementation.

2016 – 2017: Robotic Arm

Selected as 1 of 30 from 3355 candidate freelancers to draft the NASA System Architecture for a robot arm of the free flyer.

Astronauts and robots are planned and currently work together to perform a number of different tasks supporting research, operations and maintenance on board human space flight vehicles like the International Space Station.  One type of robot NASA is developing is a next generation free flying robot for testing and operation on board the International Space Station. Although not a fully capable robot, NASA currently has a platform named SPHERES on the International Space Station –  A free flyer robot is one that has the capability to move around inside the space station on it’s own without interfacing or interfering with the space station or its astronauts.

To accelerate the free flyer robot’s capabilities NASA Tournament Lab and Freelancer have teamed up to crowd source some of the most complex problems being faced by astronauts on the cutting edge of space exploration. Be a part of the journey and help NASA push the boundaries of human imagination and innovation!  For the first phase of this project, NASA will be surveying freelancers and picking the top 30 to help design the system architecture of the arm.



Developed a great submission for our project. Very complete and detailed. Even more than what we expected. Great to work with.

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Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI)
2101 NASA Parkway
Mailcode: SA
Houston, Texas 77058