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What are the dates for the competition?

HI-SEARCh was originally scheduled for Sept. 28 to Oct. 3, 2020. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the event has been postponed. We will announce the new dates as soon as they are available. Thank you for your patience!

How do I register?

Check the registration links for instructions. Eligible teams who register for HI-SEARCh are not guaranteed a place in the competition due to limited spaces available.

How will the competition be structured?

HI-SEARCh will be based on NASA’s annual Lunabotics Competition. The same robot dimensions will be used and the competition rules will be very similar. View the rules and rubrics for detailed information.

Is there a fee to register?

No—registration is free!

How many teams will be competing?

The competition will be limited to 21 international teams with restrictions on the number of teams allowed per country/region. Excess teams will be put on a wait list.

How many people are needed for each team?

The number of team participants is at the discretion of their respective schools. Each team should have enough members to successfully design, build and operate a robot. Participants are only allowed to be members of one team during the competition. Each team will have up to 10 seats for the awards ceremony.

Can students representing different universities form teams?

Yes—as long as the universities represented by students of a collaborative team do not have separate, independent teams registered. Registration is limited to one team per university or school. For more information, visit the sections on Eligibility and Registration in the competition rules. A designated faculty member of one of the participating universities must be responsible for a collaborative team.

Will the same documentation, reports and presentation in Lunabotics be required for HI-SEARCh?

Documentation requirements will be similar to Lunabotics, minus the Systems Engineering paper. We do recommend that all teams follow the Systems Engineering best practices, but we do not require it. Letters from the dean and faculty advisor, presentations and other documentation are required for HI-SEARCh.

What level of autonomy will be expected for robots in the competition?

Teams may run remote-control or in varying degrees of autonomy. Refer to the competition rules for guidance.

What will the competition arena be like?

Teams will compete with their robots outdoors in a large plot of ungroomed, volcanic rock and sand including boulders, craters, inclinations and declinations.

What kind of material will we be collecting?

Teams will collect two types of materials. One is a black, fine-grain sand composed of volcanic basalt. This will serve as a lunar regolith simulant. The second material is chunks of dead coral which will act as a simulant for water ice.

How many robots can teams use at once?

Teams may use multiple robots at once, but the size and weight limits will be restricted to guidelines set forth in the Lunabotics Competition. If multiple robots are deployed, their combined weight must be less than 60 kg.

Can teams leave unwanted gear like batteries in Hawaii when they return home?

Yes. Inform the HI-SEARCh program manager three week in advance of the competition if you wish to leave your batteries or other components at the site. They will be donated to local schools.

Shipping: How long does it take to send crates to Hawaii?

Shipping times may vary. Please consult with your local shipping company. Teams are advised to make arrangements at least five months in advance of the competition date. Shipping from some countries can take five weeks or more, depending on customs and shipping regulations. Start this process as early as possible.

Are family and friends able to attend the competition?

Yes. The event will be free and open to the public. For the awards ceremony at the end of the competition, only registered students and faculty will be eligible to attend.

Will rules and information about the event be provided in other languages?

Competition information will only be provided in English. Teams should have some level of English proficiency to participate.

Will assistance be provided to particating teams for arranging accommodations and transport in Hawaii?

Logistics related to housing, transportation and airfare will be the responsibility of teams.

Where is the closest airport to the competition site?

The competition will be held in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii Island. The nearest airport is Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport which is located minutes away from the competition site.

Where can teams stay during the competition?

There are dozens of hotels in the Kailua-Kona area of Hawaii Island where the competition will take place. Teams are advised to use an online accommodations site like Booking.com or Expedia.com to make arrangements. Note that the competition will take place at NELHA's Hawaii Ocean Science & Technology Park near the Kona International Airport.

What will the weather be like?

The average temperature in Kailua-Kona ranges from 72 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 30 degrees Celcius) with minimal rainfall. Teams should come prepared for sunny, hot and humid weather (e.g. hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, shorts and short-sleeved shirts). Hawaii Island has diverse geography with many climates, altitudes and weather conditions. If team members plan to explore the island before or after the competition, bring layered clothing and come prepared for sun, rain and cooler climates at higher altitudes.

Can HI-SEARCh help with import and travel documents for international teams?

No. The HI-SEARCh team does not have the resources to help foreign teams process their import documents or travel visas. All non-U.S. teams should research in advance their import requirements, documentation and visa requirements to make arrangements ahead of the competition. HI-SEARCh is not responsible for customs delays.

Are there restrictions on shipping batteries?

Please consult with your shipping company to find out about any restrictions on batteries, espeically lithium ion or other lithium-based batteries. HI-SEARCh will not be able to provide batteries to teams who fail to secure shipping of these items.

99 Aupuni Street Ste. 212-213

Hilo, Hawaii 96720

(808) 935-8270




PISCES is a state-funded Hawaii aerospace center under the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. The Hilo-based agency is working to position the state as a leader in space exploration while developing sustainable products and technologies that benefit the State of Hawaii. 

© 2020 by PISCES Hawaii