Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

No, this is a prototype. So it doesn’t have to work, but people who see it should have an idea of how it would work. It doesn’t need to move on its own, but it might have wheels. It doesn’t need to speak on its own, but you might use an audio recorder to playback sounds you’ve made. Think creatively! It doesn’t have to work, but the design should help people understand how it might work.

You can use any materials you have access too. We imagine teams might use art supplies, office supplies, cardboard boxes and so on. Be creative! Anything laying around can transform into parts for your robot. Just make sure to ask permission to borrow items that don’t belong to you. Also, if items are donated to your team, they must be included in your budget. Prototypes can not cost more than $300 to build.  

Check in with your teacher or the adult who is leading your team. Each team has a budget of $300 to purchase what they need.

The design challenge runs from January to March in 2018. You can use as much or as little time as you have during these months to work on your project. We imagine teams will spend 2-4 hours per week working on the project. But you can spend more time if you would like. 

Teams can spend up to $300 on building your prototype. Work with your teacher to get funds for the supplies you need. If you have items donated to your team, the value of those items should be included in your budget. The total cannot exceed $300.

Each team will present their design during the  Showcase. This event is a celebration of all of the teams’ hard work. A group of 6 students from your team will present the robot to an audience and guest expert panelists. You will be asked questions about your design and the decisions you made while designing your robot.

Yes, the robot needs to be a physical prototype. You can include digital elements, but the robot needs a physical format that can be brought to the showcase in Seattle.  

We welcome every team member in the design challenge, as well as their teachers and families to attend the event. It will be a fun celebration with food and activities. Each team is required to have up to 6 team members present the robot. Other team members can attend and watch the presentations but no one is required to participate.

We are currently working with several high schools for the 2018 Design Challenge. If you want to participate in future design challenges, email

Please email and we’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as we can.