The AFRON “10 Dollar Robot” Design Challenge

Dr. Thomas Tilley won the 1st prize in the tethered robots category of the 2012 AFRON “10 Dollar Robot” design challenge.

The challenge was hosted by The African Robotics Network (AFRON) from 14 June to 15 September 2012.

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According to Dr. Thomas, “Lollybot is essentially a modified USB joystick with wheels, a Chupa-Chup bump sensor on one thumbstick, and a line sensor patched in to the other thumbstick. The robot is designed to be built from scratch by the user for a total cost of US$8.96 (excluding scavenged parts).”

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According to Wired Magazine,”Suckerbot, designed by Thomas Tilley, a computer scientist living in Thailand, started with a hacked PlayStation controller, and wound up winning first prize in the tethered robot category. In this case, the tether is the controller’s USB cable, and Tilley attached the rumble motors to a pair of wheels. Suckerbot’s list of parts comes to $8.96, but the real genius is the Chupa Chups. Tilley needed a way for the robot to sense if it ran into something, so he stuck a lollipop in each joystick. Whenever the Suckerbot bumps something, the weight of the sucker tips the joystick forward, and a signal is sent to the processor. ”

Articles about Lollybot (formerly known as “Suckerbot”):