OLPC Afghanistan have developed a prototype human power machine that can charge the laptop as it runs / is being used and can even be run without difficulty by typical 3rd/4th graders.
The system connects the Freeplay hand crank with pedals underneath to enable the XO to be used as long as desired at home, into the night, etc; and it requires no additional or backup battery.
The human power system was designed by OLPC Afghanistan’s deployment technician Akmal Waak and Mike Dawson. We hope that this will make XO deployment in the many areas beyond the power grid more effective.
The next prototype will be built to be smaller to be carried around and simply placed on the floor with rubber pads.
You can watch the demonstration of this machine in this video. Full specifications / diagrams will be published through the OLPC Wiki as soon as possible.
I started developing a health activity for the XO laptops long time ago, I started to write about hygiene and nutrition, and this was all I did at that time. Today the activity is far more advanced and it contains a vast amount of health information. Basically, the activity is designed for those children who are studying at the schools where the XO laptops are deployed, however, it has a good amount of information for the parents of the kids.
The activity is developed using HTML, it is really simple to access using any browser.
The children using these XO laptops are being assessed to see the impact of this activity on their life, and see whether this activity provides enough information to 1. decrease the incidence of common diseases (providing information about prevention of the diseases) 2. stop malpractices which are common around Afghanistan 3. decrease the amount of resources spent on medical facilities (provide information on how to treat some simple and common diseases at home).
The Children were assessed before they were provided with the XO laptops, they are being assessed right after they have the laptops, and they will be assessed later after they have spent some time with the laptops.
The activity can be downloaded from OLPC Afghanistan website, and the results of the assessments will be published there.