We’ve covered Brennon Williams here before, the precocious 15 year old who runs several science and tech blogs and lectures other teens on the joys of science and following your dreams. He’s now a winner of the Digital Open, the online tech expo put together by Boing Boing, Institute for the Future, and Sun, to inspire kids 17 and under to explore science, technology, and making things. Inspired by MAKE/Maker Faire, Brennon has built a simple obstacle-avoiding robot and created a kit of it to sell online. Here, he describes the motivation behind it:
The BW Science Labs Store is an idea I’ve had for a while now, but it has taken a lot of work to get it up and running. There is currently 1 kit available, the Vivus the Robot kit. I’ve seen a lot of those really low-quality $20 robots where you clap your hands and they twitch, and I’ve seen $400 robots with a great deal of functionality. I wanted to make something in between, and that’s exactly what Vivus is. During prototyping I wanted to make a “real robot”, one that was autonomous and could truly act on its own, while trying to keep the cost down as well.