Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Build a better RepRap: $80,000 Prize
The Foresight Institute has announced its Kartik M. Gada Humanitarian Innovation Prize to design and build a better RepRap. There is an interim prize of $20,000, and a grand prize of $80,000. They consulted with the core RepRap team before the announcement and we were initially concerned that the prizes might drive developers to secrecy in order to give themselves a competitive edge. As you will see they have addressed those concerns by making it a condition of winning the prize that solutions should be pre-published and made available under a free licence. For ourselves and on your behalf, we would like to thank the Institute for the enthusiasm that these prizes demonstrate for the RepRap project and for their magnificent generosity.
Reprappers: to your designs! To your experiments!
The grand prize is even better! They're talking automated assembly! Man.
The rules are also a little unclear on the grand prize. Is the $200 limit for the entire system?
RepRap uses GPL.
Right now most people are intrinsically motivated. They improve the RepRap because they like to do so. Social factors and generalized exchange are also very strong.
This is something that might attract extrinsically motivated people, since studies have shown that these tend to do more incremental work. This might benefit the project, but the funny thing is that intrinsically motivated, passionate people are the ones that will generate the breakthrough innovations.
We're using this forum to host teams:
announce your idea, and see who joins you.
Or introduce yourself "Looking for team?" maybe.
...well, better than a slap in the face with a cold kipper etc - but these specs are pretty demanding. If (or when) someone manages to "win the prize" they're probably sitting on something that's worth an awful lot more than that in kitsets and whatnot.
As an aside, I was at that thing in Wellington a week or so ago - and there was a genuine 2nd generation machine... ie: parts built form the first. I can see there being a point where traceability of lineage becomes quite bankable.
Still. It's not all about money :)
while its currently being developed I think it has a lot to offer: given that I'm taking a different approach, this aims to use multiple processes automated together rather than trying to adapt/encapsulate multiple processes to a single device.
Please see it at http://www.cubespawn.com - think of it as a modular repstrap/milling machine hybrid initially, with more features as time passes. Thanks, James
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