Ten dollars doesn’t get you a lot of parts. Then again, $35 for a computer seemed pretty outrageous not too long ago. The success of that Raspberry Pi Micro-Computer prompted professors Ken Goldberg and Ayorkor Korsah to stage a contest: Design a $10 robot. Conceived as a teaching tool for use in African classrooms, such a low-cost machine could prove to be revolutionary for education in poorer countries around the world.
Launched last month and ending on Sept. 15, the contest offers prizes for any professional, student, or hobbyist who can design a $10 robot — or at least one in that neighborhood.
“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.”