The last couple weeks have found myself, and a couple other AfriGadget team bloggers (1, 2, 3), traipsing across East Africa on our way to and from TEDGlobal. We were able to source a few really good stories that you’ll see coming online in the next couple of weeks.
Some of the AfriGadget bloggers
While at TEDGlobal, I had the chance to talk on stage about African ingenuity and innovation at the most micro level. Needless to say, it was exhilarating. I gave examples of the stories we’ve published here over the last year. It was a lot of fun and I think people enjoyed it.
Of course, this high-flying adventure couldn’t all go smoothly. In fact, on Thursday, the last day of TEDGlobal and the day that some pretty big sites linked to us, our web host was hacked and we went down in flames. I was off to Uganda and had a terrible connection, and it wasn’t until today that I’ve been able to fix things.
So, thanks for your patience in all of this, and thanks for reading! We’ve got some pretty exciting ideas about this next year and will keep you informed as they happen.
[update: here’s a short audio slideshow of what I think I said…]
An all-in-one cooker, energy generator and fridge could soon be improving quality of life in developing countries, thanks to an international project launched this week.
According to a press release by Paul Riley, SCORE Project Director, the £2m Stove for Cooking, Refrigeration and Electricity (SCORE) project aims to work with rural communities in Africa and Asia, where access to power is limited, to develop a versatile domestic appliance powered by biomass that will significantly improve health and welfare.
The SCORE device, which is still in the concept stage and is shown in the picture below, will work through the conversion of biomass to sound energy for heating and cooling.
This technology is far more efficient and less polluting than burning wood in an open fire, currently the primary cooking method of two billion people around the world. Dr Pullen(Research team leader) adds:
“Using this technology while ensuring that the device is relatively low-cost and can be produced using local materials and labour is one of the great challenges of this project. Thermoacoustic systems have always been expensive and high-tech – a great deal of the first stage of this project will be taken up with translating the technology into something that can easily be mass produced.”
The SCORE project website can be found here
( via Timbuktu Chronicles )
Rajan Harinarain, a South African entrepreneur and inventor has come up with a temporary foldaway house for use in emergency situations complete with electrical wiring and fittings, doors and windows that can be erected by a small team in 5 minutes.
The patented structure weighs less than a ton, collapses to under a foot in height and can be modified with insulation/ventilation for hotter or cooler environments.
Links to the complete story at:
– South Africa Info
– South African Engineering News
GeekCorps has a story about a Mali radio station that is using wifi to stream video content to TVs run on car batteries in the village of Bourem Inaly in Mali. What is particularly cool about this project is that the wi-fi antennae are all made locally by recycling local materials including cans. The only imported part is the audio/video receiver that is imported from Canada. The radio station currently has 15 subscriptions to the service that make it $45 a month.
For DIYer’s who may want to try this project, here is a copy of the project guide.
You can watch the video on the making of one the antennae here on YouTube
Have you taken a picture of some great African solution to everyday problems? Maybe you’ve got a picture of some other type of gadget that could be used in Africa.
Well, in order to get rid of the pictures in the right margin, we’re asking you to upload and tag your Flickr photos “AfriGadget”. A Flickr Group has been created at: http://flickr.com/groups/afrigadget/ and we’d love to have you start populating it when you have something to share.
Better yet, think of becoming a contributing author on AfriGadget! If you’re interested, email us at: main at afrigadget dot com