Innovation That Matters

Korean robot fundraiser takes to the streets in search of donations

Nonprofit & Social Cause

We’ve seen countless innovations in the non-profit sector to encourage online donations, from Philanthroper’s profiling of a new charity every day to 33needs’ crowdfunding platform for social enterprises. Taking that spirit of innovation offline and onto the streets, we recently came across DONA, the robotic street fund-raiser calling for donations from passers by. Created by Korean-based Min Su Kim, the small robot is designed to have a childlike appearance — complete with red poncho — and is programmed to respond with appreciative gestures whenever money is placed into the collecting pot. DONA, described as an “Urban Donation Motivating Robot”, can move around on wheels, or stay in one spot, encouraging donations with “pet-like interaction” when stationed by boards explaining the collection. Following extensive prototyping and feedback groups, DONA is now being trialled in a public space, collecting money for Save The Children, with funds going towards children’s education in Cote d’Ivoire. Videos of the trial on Min Su Kim’s website show DONA to be particularly popular with children, and the sense of intrigue the robot creates could be the key to its success. Those in the charity sector, one to back and employ for your own initiatives? (Related: For remote employees, on-site robot serves as physical ‘avatar’Robot mower runs on solar power.) Spotted by: Katharina Kieck



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