AFRON 2013 Robot Design Challenge
Today, AFRON announced the 2013 Design Challenge, with a goal of augmenting the robots from the first $10 robot design challenge. In 2012, the AFRON launched with a Design Challenge to build a $10 robot. The African Robotics Network (AFRON) is a community of institutions, organizations and individuals engaged in robotics in Africa, founded by Ayorkor Korsah & Ken Goldberg. AFRON seeks to promote communication and collaborations that will enhance robotics-related education, research, and industry on the continent. Since it launched May 2012, AFRON has 380 regular and affiliated members from 51 countries around the world.
2013 Design Challenge: Robot Enhancements, Software, and Teaching Plans
The African Robotics Network (AFRON) and IEEE Robotics and Automation SocietyGoal
Robots excite people of all ages. Their physical behavior often inspires primary and secondary student interest in computers, science, math, and engineering more broadly. However, existing platforms are often too expensive for students. This project aims to collaboratively create an Ultra-Affordable Robot (an order of magnitude less expensive than existing products) to inspire young people around the world.The 2012 Design Challenge emphasized an ultra-low-cost robot hardware platform in three categories: tethered, roaming,
1) Hardware enhancements
· Improved robustness (particularly of wheels and bumpers) to allow for more reliable behavior
· Ability to design and switch in and out different sensor circuits, such as the current line sensor circuit.
· Ability to control the robot with an old feature phone, a Raspberry Pi, or other low-cost computing platform
Outline 20+ hours of educational activity using the chosen robot. The educational value could come from the process of assembling the robot and from programming it. However, at least 15 hours of the curriculum should be re-usable, meaning that it can be used with an already-assembled robot. This ensures that learning continues after the robot is assembled for the first time. The lesson plans can assume a basic age-appropriate science and math background, but should not assume any background in robotics or prior experience programming or using tools such as a soldering iron — it should help students learn what they need to know.4) Community challenge
Build one of the winning designs in collaboration with students (primary, secondary or early college), documenting the process and the learning experience for the students.Prizes
Each category attracts a grand prize of $500, and a runner-up prize of $250. A single entry can win in more than one category. Additionally, there will be “honorable mentions” for other creative submissions.
Create one HTML webpage with the following information:
1. A high-level description of your hardware enhancements, software enhancements, curriculum and/or student workshop.
2. For hardware enhancements, include:
a. A list of parts, their sources (include URLs if applicable), availability, and prices.
· Note that your parts list should be complete, including things like required adhesive, screws etc.
· Note that salvaged parts are allowed, if these salvaged parts are commonly available in your particular context. Think of this list of parts as the starting point if someone in a similar context to you wanted to reproduce your robot.
· Your parts list should include any consumables (e.g. batteries) and their associated cost and replacement frequency. This is a caution to think of sustainability.
b. A list of tools/equipment needed to create the robot, and estimated prices
c. Relevant drawings with dimensions.
d. Step-by-step instructions for creating your robot
e. A description of any experiments conducted
f. Pictures and videos of your robot in action
3. For software, include:
a. A link to documentation (a “user guide”) for your software
b. If relevant, screenshots of your software
c. A link to the open-source software.
4. For curriculum, include:
a. The target age range / level (e.g. primary school – approximately below age 12, junior high or middle school – approximately between ages 12 and 14, and senior high school – approximately between ages 14 and 18)
b. The learning goals
c. Materials needed
5. For the community challenge (student workshops), include:
a. The robot that was used
b. Information about participants (number, age range, location)
c. Sources of parts for robot-building
d. Description of activities
e. Description of outcomes
f. Pictures and/or video
Hardware enhancements will be assessed using the following criteria:
· Robustness & effectiveness
· Cost (try to stay below 20 USD, excluding computing)
· Ease of assemblySoftware will be assessed using the following criteria:
· Ease of use
· Quality of documentationCurricula will be assessed using the following criteria:
· Potential to help students learn
· Potential to engage students’ interestThe community challenge will be assessed using the following criteria:
· Completeness of documentation of the experience
· Student impact