The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) with support from Hawaii Science & Technology Museum and the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) is organizing Hawaii's first international robotic mining competition.
The Hawaii International Space Exploration And Robotics Challenge (HI-SEARCh) will bring college-level robotics teams from around the world to compete in the lunar-like volcanic landscapes of Hawaii's Big Island.
HI-SEARCh is inspired by NASA's Lunabotics Competition and will be based on similar rules. The event invites both domestic and international teams to compete using space mining robots in an outdoor lunar analog environment.
Continuing a tradition of exploration & discovery
Hawaii has a long-standing tradition of exploring new horizons and pushing the frontiers of discovery. From the ancient Polynesian explorers who crossed the vast Pacific Oceans to find their island home, to Hawaii's modern role as a leading center for astronomy and scientific research, HI-SEARCh continues the tradition of exploring new realms while inspiring the next generation of scientists, technicians, engineers and programmers.
With a focus on ISRU (in-situ resource utilization), HI-SEARCh will also help cultivate the knowledge, skills and experience needed for NASA's Artemis program to return humans to the moon. Excavation is the first step in ISRU—gathering raw materials to be utilized for necessities like shelter, air, water and fuel—to make other worlds habitable for humans.
College robotics teams from around the world will compete in the realistic lunar analog environment of NELHA's Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. This rugged, volcanic landscape not only looks like the moon but also shares much of the same chemical makeup. Bringing the competition outdoors to a high-fidelity lunar analog site will put teams' robot designs to the ultimate test.