NASA in association with  Freelancer has taken this initiative to crowdsource designs for a robotic arm for their new Astrobee robot. The initiative might find NASA hand out money in the tune of $25,000 within the next couple of months dividing the prize money into a dozen contests seeking answers to design innovation towards creating the components of the arm.

NASA

Each contest is independent and has a particular prize associated with it however you are free to compete for in as many contests as you wish. Winning entries could become the part of robotic arm design and will be used in combination with Astrobee for decades in the future.

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This contest is known as the NASA Robotic Arm Challenges and this certainly will witness all the contest winner being awarded prizes which range from $250 to $5000. Earlier such contests have produced what people call a novel “hall of fame” solutions such as 3D tools for robotic astronauts to smartwatch applications for station updates.

The current contests subject is called the  Astrobee which is a robot currently under development by the NASA Game Changing Development Program.  The robot is all set to be launched to the ISS next year.