People's Choice Semi-Finalist

ISSIE made it to the People's Choice Semi-Finals (Top 25)

Space Station

Find a way to adapt common gym tools for a reduced gravity environment and design a workout routine that can minimize bone and muscular loss while being fun and easy to use during a long term mission. In doing so consider constraints regarding weight (equipment should weigh less than 500kg) and dimensions. Consider incorporating virtual reality to simulate a jog through an astronaut’s favorite Earth destinations or incorporate gaming to motivate users.


Space is really tough on your body! Without the force of Earth's gravity pulling on them, your muscles get weaker and your bones lose density. The more time you spend in space, the worse it gets. This is one of the biggest challenges facing human spaceflight, especially long-duration missions like going to Mars.

The good news is: there is an answer! The bad news is: it's exercise. Lots and lots of exercise. Astronauts on the International Space Station spend two hours a day on average, just to keep up.

Enter ISSIE. ISSIE -- International Space Station Interesting Exercise -- is a gaming system for exercising on the gym machines of the International Space Station. We want to help astronauts on ISS make the most of the time they spend keeping their bodies healthy.

The idea for ISSIE sprouted from the mind of Laura Doyle, a 9-year old girl, whose dad went to the 2015 International SpaceApps Challenge Hackathon. When he came home and explained the challenges NASA faced in going to Mars, one of them was exercise. Laura is a Presidential Fitness Award winner and her brain sparked: "exercise + fun." And that was the beginning.

Astronauts will put on augmented reality goggles and choose from a library of games made for the equipment they're using. They'll interact with a holographic environment in the real space around them.

Our Hackathon solution uses an aerobic step and a Unity game running on iOS in Google Cardboard. Use your steps to power the spaceship. Every step converts to a burst of thrust from the engines. Visit exoplanets and collect alien DNA.

We will build out our game further and adapt it to interface with an exercise bike (replicating the CEVIS) and to run on the Microsoft Hololens. Additional builds will target the ARED and COLBERT as well.

Games that are fun for astronauts to play in space will be fun for people on Earth who want to get fit, too! We envision a multiplayer mode where players on Earth can join in a race with astronauts in orbit.

Resources Used

Unity 3D, Vuforia, Google Cardboard, iOS, Raspberry Pi, nodejs, MaKey MaKey

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