Through one of the usual mailing lists, I received an announcement regarding a recently concluded competition: the African Robotics Network (AFRON) “$10 Robot” Design Challenge.
This is a great idea. In a day and age where we have an arms race of million dollar robots – which seems to be the only way we can give our robots the perceptual and reasoning abilities to function in the flexible ways we want – it is nice to see people exploring the other end of the spectrum too. To insiders, none of these designs would look surprising. However, we never know. Maybe, someday soon, one of these entrants might hit upon a brilliant idea that’ll launch something of consequence.