While it's not quite on the level of NASA's
ongoing challenges, iRobot's Create Challenge contest nonetheless looks to have at least given some incentive to a few homebrew enthusiasts / would-be mad scientists, one of whom has now taken home a cool $5,000 for his troubles. Snagging that cash was Danh Trinh of Towson, Md, who's "Personal Home Robot" won over the judges with its ability to water plants, control lights, play music, and remind owners to take their medication, among other less-than-strenuous activities. Helping it manage all that is iRobot's DIY-friendly Create platform which, as you can see above, went under a pretty extensive transformation on its way to first place. Be sure to hit up the Instructables link below for the complete rundown.
Read - iRobot, "iRobot Selects Create Challenge Contest Winner"
Read - Instructables, "iRobot Create Personal Home Robot"