Sunday, October 19, 2008

Technology for the Poor


Their mission is to develop, innovate and disseminate sustainable technologies to the poor all over the world. The techniques they've developed are very "customer centric" in that they develop solutions that make sense based on the needs and abilities and infrastructure available to the communities they work with. This project is the work of Job Ebenezer, and as he is from South India his focus is to help communities in those places. A prime example of their approach is the repurposing of bicycles as machines. He's developed a simple method to quickly convert a bicycle from transportation to providing human power to drive a large range of machines so long as the the machine can take input from a belt- or chain-driven pulley.

A dual purpose bicycle is one that can be used for both transportation and power production. This modified bicycle can be used by people in low socio-economic status to operate a rice thresher, peanut sheller, corn sheller, circular saw, woodworking lathe and other implements that require 1/2 hp or less. By adding value to their product and services, the poor can earn more money and achieve sustainability.



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