Meet DONA, The Red-Hooded Robot That Begs
Now here's something unusual. For decades, people have been looking to the future and envisioning that one day, robots will be running the show, with humans running and controlling their every move in the background. This notion was fitted into television shows, in futuristic movies, and even in cartoons. Remember Irona, Richie Rich's robot maid? Or Rosie, the Jetsons' household robot?
Years later, a whole host of robotic gadgets filling the constantly updated stream of technology. There are the robot nurses, the robotic surgery machines, the robot spies, the pick and place robots in factories, and then there's DONA. In case you haven't heard of that last one, DONA is an urban donation motivating robot that will get even the cold-hearted ones to fork over a dime or a dollar.
DONA is designed by Min Su Kim and is a project that has spanned for a few years already since its inception in August of 2009. It plays upon the widely observed tendencies of humans when it comes to dealing with adult humans in need.
Instead of having the beggar do the begging, why not use a robot that displays child-like features and engages in pet-like interactions with passersby and donaters?
The project began with a prototype that was comprised of just a box and a cut up plastic bottle. A year later, it progressed to a doll-like figure which provided the inspiration and captured the final look of DONA.
The third prototype was demonstrated in a public area where a lot of people would be passing by. DONA partnered together with a well-known charitable organization, Save the Children. In the exercise, the money collected by DONA was donated to the charity which will use the money to fund children's education in Cote d'lvoire.
Check out this video of the DONA in action:
The range of movements that the begging robot can do is quite limited but the added "human" touch of blinking definitely increases its allure and pity factor. Did you also happen notice that it gives a little bow every time someone comes forward to put some money in its tin?
Source: This Is Minsu