“Obviously a $10 is very … it’s a bit unrealistic,” says Goldberg, a professor of engineering at UC Berkeley. “But we wanted to set [a price] that would really get people thinking. And in volume, it’s not that farfetched.”
The AFRON 10 Dollar Robot Challenge offers three prizes, from $100 to $500, plus a Raspberry Pi, in each of three categories, based on the type of robot. The $10 limit is flexible — more a target price for a high-quantity production run. The prototypes, Goldberg expects, will cost more like $100, still a long way short of even a Lego Mindstorms set.
The contest is part of Goldberg and Korsah’s African Robotics Network (AFRON), a new organization built to bring robots to Africa, not for industry, but as a learning tool for students.