Would Ya Help a Robot Out?

by Amy Marcott on May 12, 2011

in Engineering, Research

DONA  the robotBack in 2009, the Media Lab was featured as part of the Sharing Experiences conference in Seoul, Korea. The event, which was organized by Korean researchers and students, brought together people working in media arts and technologies to bridge cultures and push the boundaries of technology and creativity. DONA, the “urban donation motivating robot,” was born during a three-day multidisciplinary workshop, in which members of the Media Lab collaborated with Korean counterparts on simple projects that involved engineering, industrial design, human computer interaction, and social sciences. The first iteration was a roving Duracell box with an attached cup that would shake side to side.

Since that time, Korean researchers, led by Min Su Kim at Hongik University, have added personality and functionality to the ’bot. Now in its third iteration, DONA looks like a mini Little Red Riding Hood and interacts with crowds by waving, bowing, blinking, and moving its arms and hands.

Check out DONA in action below. How successful is robot fundraising? During trials in New York City’s Union Square and Korea’s Seoul Museum of Art, DONA reportedly raised $30 an hour. The money went to Save the Children, specifically funding educational programs for kids in the Ivory Coast.

And this isn’t the only robot soliciting funds. A student in Scotland also developed a prototype.

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