DON-8r robot raises money for charities


Who would have thought that a simple robot could actually be used for raising money for charities? Then again, that is not so strange. After all, we have seen skeptical looks dropping on normal folks who go from table to table in public places, wearing a badge that endorses where they came from, which organization they are representing in order to collect money from the public. Many of us have felt cheated in the past after giving our money away, only to read of a particular money-collecting scam in the papers a few days later. With the DON-8r, this coin powered robot might be more appealing to have us part with our money.

After all, charities do need to reinvent themselves in order to look for new methods of raising funds while making sure their profile is enhanced, which is why the Dundee Science Centre has apparently hit the proverbial jackpot, thanks to this an innovative idea which will not only attract attention but hopefully in the process, cash as well.

DON-8r (pronounced ‘donator’) will be a tiny, fund-raising robot which is capable of traveling through public spaces including shopping centres, relying upon the public’s generosity in the form of coin donations so that it can continue moving. To put it mildly, each drop of a coin will not only power DON-8r but also goes directly towards supporting a chosen charity.

The brain behind this idea? Product designer Tim Pryde, and a fully working DON-8r has already been wowing shoppers in Dundee, Scotland, as it goes about raising both money and awareness for Dundee Science Centre.

Tim Pryde is a 21 year old final year student at the University of Dundee, and this is what he has to say about his project, “I developed DON-8r as a device to get people more personally involved with raising funds for charities. I was inspired by the increasingly negative attitude that many people have towards on-the-street charity workers. Rather than approaching them and supporting their charity, people will often go out of their way to avoid them. DON-8r is my response to this, an engaging and approachable robot that raises money for charities through encouraging playful and empathetic support from strangers and
passers-by. DON-8r navigates obstacles as it moves about on a random path for a set length of time. It then waves its flag, calls for assistance and pulses with light until it receives another donation from another passer-by. Always polite, DON-8r thanks the generosity and repeats its journey.”

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