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Winners of $10 Robot Challenge Announced

The African Robotics Network has announced the winners of its 10 Dollar Robot Design Challenge

2 min read
Winners of $10 Robot Challenge Announced


The Suckerbot, one of the winners.

The African Robotics Network (AFRON) announced today at Maker Faire in New York the winners of its 10 Dollar Robot Design Challenge.

AFRON is a group of roboticists who want to mobilize institutions and individuals working on robotics-related areas to improve communication and collaboration in African countries.

The 10 Dollar Robot Design Challenge, announced early this year, received 28 entries and selected 10 winners. The goal was fostering the creation of affordable robots for education (especially in primary and secondary schools). 

AFRON divided the challenge in three categories: tethered, for robots with computing and programming off-board (on a laptop, for example); traditional, for robots with computing on-board and programming off-board; and "all-in-one," for robots with computing and programming on-board.

In the tethered category, the winners are:

1. Suckerbot (Thailand)

2. Baobot (United States)

3. Afrobot (United States)

4. RoboArm (Nigeria)

In the traditional category, the winners are:

1. Kilobot (United States)

2. SwarmRobot (China)$10_

3. SEG (United States)

4. DiscBot (United States)

And in the all-in-one category, the two winners are:

1. MITBOTS (India)

2. N-Bot (Brazil)

The $10 cost was a target but AFRON accepted entries that did not reach that goal. Participants had to submit a high-level description of their designs, including total cost, list of parts, drawings, software, and step-by-step instructions. They also had to submit a description of the educational applications for the robot.

The jury evaluated entries based on education impact, reproducibility, and affordability. The jury included Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, from NASA JPL; Alaa Khamis from Suez Canal University, Egypt; M. Bernardine Dias from Carnegie Mellon University; Brett Browning, also from Carnegie Mellon; Tracy Booyson from University of Cape Town, South Africa; and Sam Cubero, the Petroleum Institute, United Arab Emirates. Prizes consisted of cash and Raspberry Pi boards.

Congrats to the organizers, participants, and winners!

UPDATED 1 October, 12:40 p.m.

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

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A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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