Instructables is probably the most popular website for the maker community, and contains thousands and thousands of guides on how to make things.
The website was bought by the Autodesk group, which owns the AutoCad and Fusion 360 range of software, and is offering free software to the education sector.
A few weeks ago, Instructables launched a competition which it called “Design for Robotics”, in partnership with GE Appliances, which makes washing machines and similar household goods.
They asked the question, “How will robots make our homes more efficient in the year 2025?”
The idea was to find the most creative and innovative answers, as well as the “best futuristics robotics designs”.
Prizes include a MacBook Pro 13″ laptop computer, as well as Vex Robotics Starter Kits.
While the competition is mainly aimed at younger people, companies like GE are increasingly opening up to ideas from outside inventors.
With the consumer market so fast, and the industrial market also changing, product ideas are needed all the time, along with innovations for existing lines.
Existing household appliances – such as washing machines and cookers – as becoming more intelligent, and there is said to be growing demand for home robots and automation systems.
This is creating many new opportunities for experienced industrial designers as well as new entrants to the market.