A team of students from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago has been working on a charging station for XO deployments in developing countries. Like the laptops themselves, the design needed to be rugged and inexpensive, but also simple enough to be reproduced in their area of deployment. Using a three-legged PVC structure, hardboard shelves, and dulled nails for support, the final cost of each charging station ended up being under $1.00 per XO when constructed in the US; and when using a simple jig, the construction time is under an hour for a station with 20 shelves.
In August 2011, the team installed a solar power system at a primary school in Lascahobas, Haiti. Upon returning in December, the site was updated with, among other things, the new charging station design. Previously, all 400 XOs had been stacked in piles of ten, which proved to be a mess (as seen in the first picture below). With the new stations installed, the children were able to easily find available charging cables and plug the XOs into the system.
IIT Empowering Haiti is a team of undergraduate students at the Illinois Institute of Technology who, with the support of faculty and industry advisers, are working to improve the conditions of education in Haiti. For more information you please visit the team’s Web site or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(this post was written by IIT Empowering Haiti team member Simon Brauer and is reposted from OLPCnews.com)