Archive for the ‘Panel Session’ Category

  • Drivers for Humanitarian Technology
    • IEEE professionals capable of solving the problems
    • Should work on disasters everyday not once in a while
  • For example,
    • All small farm machines do not have feedback control system
    • Every machinery can be improved
      • without need for complicated technology
      • but that is not happening
      • Reason: interested problems vs relevant problems
    • One mobile device with an add-on can help to solve problems with some diseases
      • saving the cost of a few years
    • Re-frame problems for the most appropriate solutions
      • For example:
        • no value in finishing irrigation in 4 hours as compared to 40 hours
        • higher horsepower required to complete irrigation in a shorter time
        • spurious flow not worse than smooth flow
        • architecture innovation
  • Need institutional changes : business models
    • For example, In India, no venture capitalist will invest in student ideas
  • Serving the under-served
  • Affordability – cost is very important
  • Creating open source public standards of excellence
  • 3 pillars of sustainability:
    • Technology ~ Words
    • Institutions ~ Grammar
    • Culture ~ Thesaurus
  • Innovation requires
    • Share knowledge with outside – inside out
    • Learn from others – Outside in
      – need people to have large heart, big mind
  • Examples of Innovative ideas
    • Posture correcting chair / sensor invented by children
    • children invented modified walkers with adjustable legs
    • bus stop steps
    • phone to phone charging
    • heat from compressor of the refrigerator can be reused, so as to reduce energy consumption
    • Stoves with 3 levels, each with different amount of heat
    • Detection of Cancer cells based on their higher sodium content













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Saturday Opening Plenary – From Humanitarian Engagement to Sustainable Impact – Khanjan Mehta – Pennsylvania State University, School of Engineering Design, Technology & Professional Programs (SEDTAPP)

  • Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program
    • Venture team pipeline: from 50 students to 800 students
    • Senior level classes – students from everywhere
    • Projects passed from team to team as students moved on
    • Partner networks
      • Funding
      • Private sector easier to work with than the non-profits
    • Intellectual property
      • No patent filing
      • Publish everything
      • License to several companies
  • Frame changers






  • Re-framing research
    – research and publication
    – Show how, compiling – Inspiring & inform others
  • Diverse manuscript frameworks
    • New ways to disseminate knowledge
    • Great data & research out there
      • 114 million scholar articles with only 27 millions opened
      • circular innovation
  • Kochia chronicles
    • Documented challenges and how to solve them
    • Social business stories
    • Example:
      • Traditions in some communities: 10x annual income spent on a funeral
    • Resource driven entrepreneurship
  • Social ventures
    • Set up; get stuff done; take the plunge
    • Need to do it now
  • Boarder engagement
  • Execution: partnerships; research conversation
  • Ecosystems that fosters multi-million smile enterprises

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Communication is a necessity

  • even poor people pay for it:-
  • 7% of income in Bangladesh (relatively high rates, all prepaid)

Last 1 Billion users Worldwide not covered by any cellular network

  • mostly in rural areas

Why not?

  1. Economic viability
    • Rural too expensive to cover: low density, high cost
  2. Carrier structure
    • spectrum is owned but not used

Their approach in this presentation:

  1. reduce costs  – both CAPEX & Op-Ex
  2. enable local ownership & operation
  • built a community network in Papua, Indonesia (highlands)

Deployed a mini server running software defined radio (SDR) Base station (BS)

  • BS: put on the tree: sharing power (micro-hydro) & VSAT backhaul link with the school
  • people can use their existing handsets which are used when they travel to the cities
  • own Tier sim cards

Pricing set by local community

  • @0.02/min – relatively high
  •  main usage: SMS
  • not currently offering data Service

Local data service should be easier to include for the near future, but global Internet is more expensive, because of the backhaul requirement

No global calls now, should be available soon

Outgoing & incoming SMS: highest use & growth

  • daily delivery receipts
  • enabling a higher quality of life in the rural

Total cost: ~24x less than the conventional BS tower

Power: ~ 70W, mostly PA, less than conventional BS, because it only supports ~7 calls simultaneously, i.e., much less than the conventional BS

  • Solar power is feasible

Already profitable

  • 5-year monthly profit; growth: 17 users/month


Structural problem: carriers

  • Local telco at a disadvantage, as compare to the big carriers that can provide the following 4 things easily:
  1. Interconnection – wiretapping
  2. phone numbers
  3. lobbying to affect regulation
  4. spectrum
  •  carrier owns what they use

Spectrum options:

– work with a carrier

  • For example, Philippines have many islands that the carrier cannot cover, so the carrier is very interested
  • Afghanistan also potential

– set aside 1-2 rural “GSM” channels

– universal coverage

# Option to increase capacity: GSM white spaces

  • Use the second carriers when it is not in use
  • Not to interfere with primary user of that carrier
  • Handset measure the signal power strength of the carrier
  • Detect collisions & change channels
  • Freq hopping determined by BS, based on Handsets’ feedback on the channel measurements
  • Transparent to user

#community cellular

  • Backhaul is an issue
  • Consider different solutions, e.g., VSAT, long range WiFi, TV white space, Loon

#Co-production to reduce costs

  •  jointly owned, shared of resources, e.g., power, backhaul link

Q&A responses:

  1. Fears from parents & elders worrying about children having phones – feedback collected through surveys
  2. WiFi used for outside calls:
    • GSM handset to GSM BS, converting to VoIP at the BS
    • WiFi handset: poor battery power, coverage and high cost, not appropriate for voice
    • data used by the school
  3. Application level
    • missing: global backhaul is the fundamental problem for supporting applications involving heavy data traffic
  4. Cell tower
    • Trees: used for 6 years
    • BS: relatively Light; lightning rod; tree moves a little bit
  5. GSM, why not newer cellular technology?
    •  handset
    • 2G range higher
    • GSM + WiFi: currently the optimal solution for these areas
  6. Sustainability?  –
    • needs to sort out carrier issues
    • scalability of the solution: diff Environment: will it still work?
    • Mexico: very different

Website: http://tier.cs.berkeley.edu/drupal/

Technology and Infrastructure for Emerging Regions | investigating …

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Marco Zennaro, Ermano Pietosemoli, Sebbastian Butterich, Dale Smith, Emmanuel Tog

Research and Education Networks for Humanitarian Purposes
Dale Smith dsmith@nsrc.org

REN(research and education network) are generally available for both developed(>10G)and developing countries (10M to 1G). In emerging countries, there are still many areas without Internet coverage. By tapping into the REN will improves to the network availability for these areas.

1. How NGO find out if REN is available?
Contact the local Universities for the REN capacity and accessibility. Cost: REN is usually subsided by government but check with the school. Or contact Steven Huter, sghuter@nsrc.org, from Network Startup Resource Cementer (www.nsrc.org). He can help identify the point of contact.

Building Affordable WiFi for student Access at University of Ghana
Emmanuel Togo ematogo@ug.edu.gh

Mr. Togo proposed WiFi Ghana for Ethernet connectivity. Challenges includes existing poorly designed wired network, coverage, density, and etc. The cost for access points is approx. $80. With proper training, students and faculties are able to get access to Internet. 90 access point for the campus. Same approach could be deployed for villages as well. Once the setup is done, the cost for running the network is relatively cheap because no recurring hardware cost (only maintenance) and possibly upstream network cost (usually not a problem)

Direct engineering Assistance campus network infrastructure enhancement
Morocco fez
Issue: How to improvement network performance of campus network at Sidi Mohamed ben Abdellah University?
Instead of relying the service provider, how engineering the same product without network provider? Marocoo provides two cases from his past experience.
– Venice wireless environmental data collection network
Real case of actual data using 5GHz and 17GHz

Sebastian Buettrich
Good network coverage area usually have dirtier power while where without wireless coverage, the power quality is usually better (because there is nothing else on the grid)
Economics analysis for purpose and costs or other ways to reduce power consumption (move server to other locations) and look surface area.
In turns of sunlight, Africa is a very rich area. 6 peak hours per day in Africa, while many developed countries are poor (think about Finland or other European countries). Solar power generation naturally works well in Africa. 1 case study was presented.
I was not able to capture all info., if there is any errors, please contact me and I will correct it. Thank you.

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Miho Kitagawa,  a 3rd-year undergraduate student at MIT, majoring in Mechanical Engineering with Biomedical Engineering introduced the MIT IDDS program (http://iddsummit.org). She came to the room with a lunch box of apples. And, Soon Wan, the host, wondered what she was going to do with the apples to the attendees.

The International Development Design Summit (IDDS) is an annual summit that promotes intense hands-on design experiences to create technologies and enterprises that improve the lives of people in poverty. It was founded in 2007 by Amy Smith, an MIT lecturer head of D-lab, a series of courses and field trips that focus on international development, appropriate technologies and sustainable solutions for communities in developing countries. This past summer, IDDS was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, being organized by a local team for the first time. During the summit, 6 projects were developed in areas of recycling, sanitation, eco constructions, leisure, flooring and financial management.

Miho participated the IDDS 2012 in Brazil, and shared her experience on working a recycling project. She also briefly introduced the other projects. After her presentation, she split the crowd into 2 groups, and gave them a challenge. She wanted the audience to experience the process of creativity to develop a practical and yet simple solution to address challenge. The challenge was to display an apple as high as possible by using 2 pieces of papers.

The Design Winner

supersoon1 thought Miho did a great job introducing the MIT IDDS. She spoke well, and articulately inrtoduced the IDDS. The idea of engaging the audience to the hand-on experiencing the creativity process by using apples and papers – brilliant idea! Indeed, the audiences enjoyed the presentation and the hand-on.

Here’s the slide for IDDS Panel: IDDSPanel

Please take a look at it!

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Robotics and Automation for Humanitarian Activities
Dr. Raj Madhavan raj.madhavan@ieee.org


Dr. Madhavan is looking for feedback and interested folks to contact him regarding to robots for humanitarian purposes.

Lessons learned from a Decade of Rescue Robots, Dr. Robin R Murphy murphy@cse.tamu.edu
Robots development have been used for various purposes. The presentation focus on search and rescue robotics. Development is still in progress for this application for example, wireless network with metals. Communication and Sensing are the current focus due to the environments (metal obstacle blocked wireless signals). In addition, mulch-displines/considerations are combined for the robots. How to remove rubble safely without causing additional damaging?
1. robot is a must. Robots can design to deploy to human hazardous environment. When disaster occurred, it is racing against time to start search and rescue.
2. the bigger benefit may be in reducing suffering and accelerating economic recovery: recovery is longer than expected. Full recovery is 100 times of response time.
3. Robot do not replace people
high temperature environment such as fire in accompanying with disaster.
4. rats and roaches do not replace robots. Bio limitations… interesting concept
5. Robots works better than the press reports: MTBF of 24 hours
6. Robots aren’t about defense contractors making money:
For reference
Roboticists without borders


AFRON (the African robotics network): 10 dollar Robots Design Challenge (Dr. Ken Goldbert, UC Berkley)
Robot gathered great interest across Africa. Lego Robot kit and others are great but no expensive to offered.
AFRON is an global network of 300+ individual and institute members.
AFRON design challenge from 6/15/12-9/15/12 Details:

N-bot: uses scrapped cellphone
Each robot picture has link to detail design
DiscBot: wood components $47
Swarmrobot: $9.90
Kilobot: $43, small, moves by vibration. A controller allowing to control multiple robots
RoboArm: $60, only design with arm
Afrobot: cardboard and zip tie. shock resistant
SuckerBot: $8.96, based on surplus Sony game controller. Recycle electronics.

2nd contest 2013 focusing on software development for education purposes.

Robotics and Automation Applications in Developing Countries Mr Satish Bab

The need:
1. labor shortage for specific area: food production utilizing automation and sensory. Harvesting
2. ISR: ex. Dam condition under water: diver can’t go down enough to capture
3. search and rescue:
4. automation of natural resource management: air quality, water
5. Education
6. Health care: automatic measurement for patient condition. Search reveals that prototype available not
7. Solid Waste management/hospital waste: automatic sort out different waste
8. Home Automation

Autonomous Delivery: Segways, Google car, fixed wing, multi-copters
Dr. Mike North

3 autonomous automation prototypes were presented: Dog poop pick up machine; automatic pizza delivery and UAV life jacket delivery.
Automatic pizza delivery Video Clip

Use military technology for humanitarian

Current programs: reallocate.org

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Find more about my group at @GWOBorg and gwob.org

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