Educational robotics: the robots are kids stuff
Schools are now introducing the basic principles of robotics to children at a very early age.
Tablets for isolated communities, low-cost incubators or portable hydropower plants for areas without access to electricity are some of the initiatives aiming to transform the world.
How to deliver IT to secluded villages without electricity or Internet? Here goes a clue: tablets and solar power.
With readily available materials and easily assembled, this technology has been developed by a group of Spanish engineers.
Obtaining a constant supply of electricity even in the most cut-off areas is feasible through a technology based on an ancient invention.
Sand is an abundant raw material, but the specific type used for concrete is running out. There is another option though.
The quick succession of technological projects in the last few months has led us to collect some of the most striking ones in a single article. They provide solutions for deeply human needs such as information, childcare, building materials or the supply of electricity. And they are examples of the progress made in digital transformation, technology, energy or construction. Some of these innovative technological projects are already available, while others will son be hitting the market.
Although significant progress has been made, access to IT in the third world is an ongoing challenge. And not only as regards to browsing social media or reading the news online but also in the availability of life-changing information. And that is the goal of Kamaleon, a Mozambique-based company that has created a platform under the name of the Community Tablet. Kamaleon is an interactive platform that combines an intuitive interface with a set of tablets that can be carried in a trailer to remote communities. As they are solar powered and all the information is preloaded, the technology does not require access to the Internet or any external power supply. Financial education or HIV prevention are some of the courses that are already being provided through this technological project.
Source: The Guardian
Child death rates are one of the most pressing issues in underdeveloped countries. And, frequently, premature births are to blame. According to the WHO, every year there are 15 million children born before that. And when that happens in regions where technology is outdated, the consequences can be life-threatening. Thus, four years ago, Spanish engineer Alejandro Escario and his team developed a new incubator model easily assembled and made of readily available materials. The MIT acknowledged their effort by awarding them a prize in its Global FAB Awards. Escario’s incubator has already traveled to Africa and Latin America. There, his technological project has dramatically lowered the cost, which can normally reach up to 60,000 €, to around 300 €.
Source: El País
Along the lines of the hydropower plant we covered a while ago, several companies are reinventing the old Poncelet wheel, which was used in river mills, to create an alternative and decentralized source of energy. The most ambitious prototypes can deliver up to 100 kW. However, the most interesting applications are probably those provided by Marc Nering’s prototype. This Canadian entrepreneur has created a micropower plant that can be easily set up by any river and able to provide 7.5 kW of electricity. More than enough to cover the daily needs of a home.
Source: Nering Industries
Sand is one of the basic materials in the production of concrete. But, although it would seem an abundant material, the type of sand that can be found in the deserts is too thin and smooth to bind properly. And thus, construction companies resort to riverbank sands, a dwindling resource. A group of young researchers from the Imperial College London has devised a method that makes use of desert sands to produce a new construction material with no carbon footprint. They have called it Finite, which refers to the limited construction sand available. They remain tight-lipped, however, about the actual binding agents used to produce their revolutionary concrete. Their next project aims to develop another method to produce glass with common sand too.