Saturday, December 9, 2006

Practical Action

Found this on Thinkcycle (who knew people were still using Thinkcycle!?)

The website reads,
Practical Action was founded in 1966, as ITDG (the Intermediate Technology Development Group), by the radical economist Dr EF Schumacher to prove that his philosophy of 'Small is Beautiful' could bring real and sustainable improvements to people's lives.

They have lots of projects and technologies deployed. No medical devices that I can see, nevertheless, some interesting ones:
The most popular downloads last month:
1. Recycling of plastics
2. Dyeing textiles
3. Papermaking
4. Wind for electricity generation
5. Oil extraction
6. Solar distillation
7. Cashew nut processing
8. Packaging materials
9. Yoghurt
10. Hydraulic ram pumps

Check our their Gravity Ropeway (I heard IDEO had something to do with this)

The image

Two linked trolleys, on pulleys, run on separate 10mm diameter steel wires which are suspended from towers: as the full trolley comes down, pulled by the weight of its load, it pulls the empty one up, ready for the next load. The trolleys' progress is controlled by another, 8mm wire, looped over a flywheel. A wooden drum brake, with bearing and bracket, governs their speed.

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