When the African Robotics Network announced their $10 robot design challenge this summer, co-founder Ken Goldberg was careful not to share too many expectations, lest he influence contestants' designs. But he never imagined one of the winning entries would prominently feature a pair of Spanish lollipops.
The challenge, hosted by AFRON co-founders Goldberg and Ayorkor Korsah, emphasized inexpensive designs to help bring robotics education to African classrooms. Goldberg announced AFRON's 10 winners in three categories today at Maker Faire, including the lollipop-laden Suckerbot and traditional (roaming) category first prize winner Kilobot, a Harvard-spawned three-legged, vibrating, swarming robot.
"The ingenuity that has come from all over the world to address this problem is just astounding," Goldberg said in an interview with Wired Design. "And we're very excited about the next step, which is that once they're awarded, some of them will become available products."