The first ever PISCES Robotic International Space Mining competition, or PRISM, is now an officially recognized event
Big Island of Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi has issued a proclamation, declaring this coming July 21-25 as PRISM days. The document formally acknowledges that PRISM “encourages international collaborative effort in space exploration and development…with the intention of [encouraging] universities to develop innovative concepts that could potentially be applied to real-world robotic space excavation technologies…and [spurring] interest and growth in college level robotics on Hawai`i Island at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and throughout the State of Hawaii”.
READ ENTIRE PROCLAMATION HERE.
PRISM kicks off Monday with an exhibition from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m at Hilo’s Bayfront Park (south of the canoe hale). On this first day, the public will get to meet the college teams and see their robotic mining spacecraft in action on the beach. If there is heavy rain, PISCES will move the kickoff event to the University of Hawaii at Hilo Library Lanai.
There are seven teams competing in PRISM:
- University of Alabama
- University of Alaska, Fairbanks
- Florida Institute of Technology
- Kapiolani Community College
- Iowa State University of Science & Technology
- University of New Hampshire
- University of West Virginia
They will have one day to practice before taking their robots to the simulated martian environment of the PISCES planetary analogue test site. The public will be able to watch the competition from Gemini Observatory in Hilo, where the teams will be controlling their innovative excavation machines remotely. Competition days are Wednesday and Thursday, July 23-24, followed by an awards ceremony on Friday.
While PRISM is an international competition, for this pilot year, none of the invited international college robotic teams were able to make it due to logistics, including not having ample time to raise funds for travel to Hawaii. However, that is expected to change next year, with teams such as India, Australia, and Colombia already making plans for PRISM 2015.
PRISM Project Lead & PISCES Test Logisitics Manager