What will the money be spent on? – UPDATED!

In crowd-funding, I am asking you to invest your hard-earned money in my research. I am willing to donate my time, energy and ideas towards this research and the kids I work with…but what will your gifts be spent on?

A small 3D printed robot figure from My Robot Nation holds up a coin (an American quarter).

Small gifts add up!

The funding goal for this project is $2,600 USD, to be used entirely for equipment and materials. [NOTE: Through public interest, MakerBot is sponsoring my research by providing the 3D Printer. I still need to obtain the electronics and plastic filament necessary to test the robot designs in live workshops with school children. Funds raised during the #SciFund Challenge will be used to purchase colored ABS plastic filament, Arduino microcontrollers, Servos and Motors, and sensors for the robots!]

Item Cost
MakerBot dual-color Replicator* [Provided by MakerBot] $2,000
Green ABS plastic filament $55
Brown ABS plastic filament $55
Pink ABS plastic filament $55
White ABS plastic filament $55
Kapton SuperWide Tape $50
RocketHub Fees $310

The Replicator is the actual 3D Printer, while the tape and filament are consumable materials used to create the printed objects. The tape covers the base and allows the plastic models to be removed when completed without sticking permanently or breaking. The filament is the plastic that gets melted and deposited in layers to build up objects.

Filament colors were selected by kids from my previous workshops, where I asked which two colors were favorites for the girls and for the boys. Because the filament is cheap and multiple robots can be printed from a single spool, more colors can be added to available options later in the research.

As you can see, RocketHub keeps 12% of the “fuel” – but only 8% if the project is successful (reaches the $2,600 USD goal), so by spreading the word you can magnify the effect of your gift! In return for this, RocketHub hosts the event, provides the crowdfunding site and software, and collects gift donations so that we researchers can focus on actually doing something with your generosity.

Arduino, Servo and Sensor Electronics

NOTE: Robots require electronics to be more than complex plastic figurines. I will be using open-source hardware Arduino microcontrollers together with off-the-shelf servos, motors and sensors to build the robots. This ensures that teachers anywhere will be able to find the necessary components to construct and use these robots. All programs for the robot’s basic functions will be shared freely along with the designs.

MakerBot has provided contact to more than 25 schools that will test the experiment once I have developed the robots and tested them for ease of use and safety. MakerBot Education (curriculum.makerbot.com) will also share my designs and research with other educators around the world!