In the West, everything computery seems to be getting smaller, lighter and more shiny.
But in rural Uganda, UNICEF and some tech guys are deploying rugged computers made out of something that doesn’t immediately come to mind when you think hightech – Oil Drums!
The ‘Digital Drum’ was first created in February 2010 by three engineers/IT experts and some car mechanics!
They’re made of welded together oil drums (cheap and available in very rural communities), is powered by solar panels (either built in or installed on a nearby roof) and contain a low powered laptop (or two) and are completely water proof! They come preloaded with information about with health and education.
Although not web connected (yet), they can provide vital information to rural communities who might not have their own doctors or teachers.
Check this out:
I love hearing about this type of project and I also sponsor a nine year old boy in Uganda through Compassion International, I wonder if he’s seen a digital barrel – I’ll have to ask in a letter to him!