Sunday, May 10, 2009

First 15 shipments

Thanks to everyone who made our first 15 deployments possible. Our peripherals are en route to Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Bolivia. Packaging these shipments, I had limited bubble wrap to secure the devices within the large boxes. However, the devices were more durable than I imagined and reached their destinations without any incidents. On the other hand, I'm not sure if the devices would survive a set of inquisitive and innocently destructive hands. As a result, we decided to build a protective cover. Thanks to Craig Lawson of Ideas Prototyped for his dedication! Craig and I have worked through a few iterations and developed a petite snap-fit cover that also fastens down the cables.

If you'd like to offer suggestions to our design, please contact me (

Monday, April 6, 2009

New PCB Revision and Low-cost Proto

Two revisions later we have something closer to "child tamper proof". Our prototypes are on their way out to many eager children! Hooray!

If you are interested in receiving them for your pilot please send me an email to: We will soon release a few prototypes for private purchase (under a G1G1 model to help finance further prototypes for the pilots). Stay tuned for more details.

Big thanks to Mike Koop and Dan Ehlers for their efforts on the latest PCB layout. Another big thanks to the guys at Liquidware/GL Interfaces for subsidizing the cost of a component.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

OLPC SB Collaboration

While we continue to press on with a deployment in Thailand, our chapter is more than happy to get involved with other US/domestic chapters. While there are certain challenges and restrictions to the introduction of new classroom material within certain public school systems, we are very appreciative of the bold educational pioneers who see the promise of our activity. Without their time and effort to integrate our material into their daily lesson plans, we would be without purpose.

On that note, I am glad to learn of the bold efforts of a teacher in Goleta, CA. With the aid of OLPC Santa Barbara, the teacher has secured the funding to deploy several XO laptops within his elementary school. Two weeks ago, I had an introductory conversation with OLPC Santa Barbara - External Collaborations representative Jonathan Kalan. Jon is playing a key role in the establishment of a Kenyan pilot (in fact in the same primary school which President Obama attended), but has been very receptive toward a near-term collaboration. As we complete our initial production of the IR sensor dongle, I aim to become more engaged with the Goleta pilot and assist Jon with another local deployment of our lesson plan. I look forward to the collaboration with the OLPC SB team which seems to be very education-heavy (Jon mentioned that their engineering team is in the early proces of recruitment). As a result, we can look forward to more detailed, constructive feedback from their team.

Our HW team continues to push towards a middle of February deadline. Meanwhile, I have recruited a Cambridge resident to help us with further abbreviation of our lesson plan. To our friends abroad, please send us a note if you are interested in samples of our bundle.

Stay tuned...

Plethy Prototype

Thanks to Ken and Mike for heading up our PCB production for our new "dongle" prototype. With our inhouse system we'll be producing a lot of 20 for distribution. For this run, we'll keep our dongle designed for through-hole mounting while a later version will be entirely surface mount. We hope to deliver the final lot by middle of February!