With support from the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, AFRON is leading the “Ultra Affordable Educational Robot” Project: to collaboratively design robots that can inspire young children worldwide about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The project engages interested students and engineers, in Africa and worldwide, in designing such robots that are an order of magnitude less expensive than existing products.
The first phase, in Summer 2012, was the “$10 Robot Challenge” In September 2012, ten highly innovative and inexpensive designs (and six Honorable Mentions) were announced at Maker Faire New York and reported in WiRed, IEEE Spectrum, Popular Mechanics, and Slashdot and featured in a Design Exhibit at UC Berkeley.
AFRON is currently developing the second phase of the Ultra Affordable Educational Robot Project. It includes a second contest, which closed in January 2014, that has several categories, one is for software and lesson plans, others are for design improvements to the winning robot designs above (making them more functional, more reliable, easier to use, less expensive, and easier to manufacture).
The project received a “Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award” in New York in May 2013.