September 21, 2005

Digital Dirtbike


In much of the developing world, villagers thirst for information about medical, agricultural, and educational problems. No reliable infrastructure exists for Internet, phones, or power. Digital Dirt Bike is a solar-powered information and communication center on wheels. A local technician drives from village to village, delivering treatments for common plant, animal and human diseases; weather forecasts; supplemental school lessons; and vocational information for farming and industry. The unit contains a notebook computer, printer, camera, satellite phone, and a sunshade. The double lid has two solar panels, used to power and recharge the equipment. Digital Dirt Bike is now successfully in use throughout Andra Pradesh, India. "There is an element of curiosity," said Mr. Jha, a farmer in A.P. "As soon as they hear the sound of the motorbike, between 50 and 100 people will collect around it.

Text and Image Courtesy: Businessweek, Special Report: Design for Emergency

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