Saturday, October 27, 2007

One Laptop Per Child powered by One Cow

OLPC stands for "One Laptop Per Child" this is a non-profit association that is working to develop & supply a $100 laptop for children around the world.

Presently they are working with the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Libya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Thailand, Uruguay & USA (read more about selection of countries and those waiting to enter the program.)

The laptop is called the XO, it was "created expressly for the world's poorest children, living in its most remote environments. The laptop was designed collaboratively by experts from both academia and industry" (see laptop specs).

Highlights of the XO are:

  • can be hand powered
  • light and durable
  • estimated product life: 5 yrs
  • full-time wireless router
  • 2 display modes available (low power consumption)
  • 7.5 inch TFT 1200×900 pixel screen
  • the machine overall has been designed to be power efficient...from the CPU to the display
  • built from free and open-source software
Now, what initially grabbed my attention was an article written about the OLPC experimenting on new ways to power the XO program......they are looking at "cow power."

An article written in InfoWorld discusses finalizing the design of a cow-powered generator that the XO could easily be powered from....."The goal is to develop a low-cost energy source that can be used in Indian villages."

What a great innovation!

Cows hold an honored place in Hindu society, and it is part of Hindu tradition to avoid the consumption of beef. There are an abundance of cows in India and what a great partnership this would be to help the children of India!

Some delays in production has the XO hopefully rolling off the production line for mid-November 2007 (Reuters).

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