My name is Mark Palatucci and I am a PhD student at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. I created this blog to tell you about an outreach project that I started with a few other students called "100 Robots".
The goal of our project is quite simple. We want to inspire children in Pittsburgh and help them develop passions early in life. When I look at successful people, I realize they all have something in common. They developed passions as children that turned into careers. After talking to my colleagues at the Robotics Institute, I realized almost all of us were playing with robots and computers as children.
We realize that not everyone is able to have this kind of exposure. This is the motivation behind our project. We want to find 100 kids in Pittsburgh - kids who would not normally be exposed to something like robotics - and share something that we at the Robotics Institute are pretty passionate about.
Specifically, our goal is to give each kid a Mindstorm NXT. I'm not sure if you're familiar with this new toy from Lego, but it is a dream (many of my colleagues want one for themselves!). Unfortunately, it is fairly expensive ($250 each). Our goal is to raise $25,000 to purchase 100 of these toys. So far we've raised $2600 and purchased 10 NXTs. Will you help us purchase the remaining 90?