Class Projects

This is a snapshot of recent projects from the different D-Lab classes.

D-Lab: Development
2008BicilavadoraPedal-powered washing machine
Biodigester WorkshopCommunity workshop on how to install a plastic bag biogas generator to produce methane for cooking and fertilizer for farming
Ceramic Water FiltersPrototypical ceramic water filters using local clay and materials found near New Longoro, Gomboi and Dwere (Ghana)
Charcoal Technology DemonstrationHow to make charcoal out of agricultural waste using an oil drum and readily available starch
Drip Irrigation KitsTechnology demonstration for the $2 drip irrigation kits from International Development Enterprises (IDE)
Hand-held Corn ShellersA practical, economical hand-held corn sheller to quicly and easily remove corn kernels from the ear
Hand-powered Walnut CrackerAdaptation of the Universal Nut Sheller from the Full Belly project to crack walnuts
Low-cost Bacterial Water TestingSimple low-cost method for testing bacterial (fecal) contamination in community water sources
Portable Solar CookerPortable solar parabolic concentrator designed with nomadic peoples of the high-altitude regions of central Tibet
Rural Energy Usage DatabaseQuantitative monitoring mechanism for the implementation of energy alternatives in the Himalayan region
D-Lab: Design
2013Braille TypewriterA Braille typewriter for children in Vellore, India, to help them gain skills that lead to jobs
BrazilA water level reader for residents in Dois Palitos, Brazil, to keep them out of harms way
Food GrinderA food grinder to aid a biogas digester at a school in El Salvador
Plastic CompactorA waste compactor for women in a co-op in Nicaragua to help them gain independence
Team EmmanuelaA one-handed washing machine to assist a young amputee in Ghana
2012Bicycle CentrifugeWorking with a community partner in Nigeria to improve an off grid centrifuge design for medical applications
Coir SpinningDesign a device to allow women in Assam to spin coconut fibers into rope
Crayon ManufacturingA device to aid low scale manufacturing of natural dye crayons for Avani, in Uttarakhand, India
Multi-Crop ThresherA low-cost device with the ability to thresh multiple crops in Ethiopia
Narrow RickshawDesigned to help Rickshaw Wallas in Dhaka, Bangladesh keep their jobs and maintain livelihood
2011Flour PowerAffordable in-home human powered grain mills to finely grind flour in East Africa
HairzingersSimple tool to facilitate the beading process for women working in co-operatives in China
Moringa ShellerA device that shells moringa seeds, a high value crop with income generating potential in Ghana
Rickshaw LightingLow cost, pedal-powered lighting for the Rickshaw Bank in Assam, India
Straw ChopperChopping straw to use as a substrate for growing mushrooms growers and supplement income in Assam, India
Toilet SeatImproved design for locally manufacturable urine separating toilet seats in Ghana
2010Bamboo Pencil MakerProcess for easy manufacturing of bamboo pencils that are comparable to pencils made from wood.
Chlorine GenerationUsing locally run electrolysis for a do-it-yourself approach to chlorine generation
Plastic Bottle RecyclingDevice that granulates and cleans used plastic bottles into reusable flakes
Portable BicilavadoraPedal-powered washing machine that easily transports from house to house.
Spiral Pine Needle CookstoveCookstove for burning pine needles as an alternative fuel source in India
Vegetable CutterMechanized device for dicing large volumes of potatoes for an orphanage in Peru.
2009Cell Phone Enabled Baby ScaleIntegrated solution for for tracking infant health parameters in General Practicioner clinics in Pakistan
Chlorine DispenserPoint-of-collection chlorine dispenser for rural communal water sources in western Kenya
Hydropower LanternSelf-powered portable hydro-powered lantern for the Peruvian highlands
Plastic Bag RecyclingA simple device to turn waste plastic bags into plastic yarn
Soil Block MakerUtilization of vibration for the compression of soil and cement into bricks
Solar Water HeaterAffordable solar water heater for high altitude deserts
2008Bamboo Pencil MakerDevice for cutting and slotting bamboo pencil shafts
Integrated Food Vendor CartMulti-system mobile food cart for Indian street vendors
Mobile Maize ShellerBicycle-based system for on-farm shelling of corn
Mobile Stove Monitoring Kit(MOSMO) Portable cookstove emissions test kit designer for field applications
Peanut Oil PressPortable, pedal-powered peanut oil expeller
Portable Solar CookerPortable solar parabolic concentrator designed with nomadic peoples of the high-altitude regions of central Tibet
Soy Milk MakerDevice for mechanizing the production of large volumes of soymilk for an orphanage in Peru
D-Lab: Dissemination
2013Aghast-Good LifeCooperative design and construction of toilets appropriate for the community, in collaboration with students and faculty at Taha Village School
Fr. Waste to GoldAfforestation initiative that uses fast-growing trees toward sustainability, economic benefit, and waste minimization
Hope in FlightUsage of Black Soldier Flies to resolve sanitation challenges in developing world communities while providing local entrepreneurs with a socially beneficial revenue stream
SPOUTS of WaterA sustainable, locally-run, ceramic water filter factory in Uganda to help increase the access to clean drinking water to all
The Art of WasteMaking art installations functional in the form of decentralized wastewater treatment systems for marginalized low-income communities
Uganda Flood RiskA system to forecast floods for the communities in the Manafwa basin, Uganda
WatA Test!A hydrogen sulfide (H2S) bacteria test that is a dry powder version of a typically liquid water test: accurate, convenient and cheaper than any other
2012Networked IrrigationPlastic pipe, with data network on embedded wires, lowers cost and simplifies installation. Remote moisture sensors and valves supply water only where needed
OpenIRweb application for saving lives in disasters, offering geo-located infrared data as on-demand map layers and translating the data so that anyone can read it easily
SchoolHousePotentialImplementation of a bio-digestion process at the secondary school built in Lenana, Kenya. Methane is for the school’s kitchen and fertilizer is sold to local farms
Shared Water for Shared Health Several households share one large rainwater harvesting system for improved water access and reduced cost in Uganda
WecyclersEstablishing a recycling program in Lagos, Nigeria that emphasizes community participation and implements bicycle transportation
2011Brundt Rainwater Purification SystemUtilizing Harar, Ethiopia’s natural resources to make clean water available for all the people, including rainwater harvesting and filtration systems
GrubCycleConversion of organic waste into a value-added commercial animal feed using a type of grub, Black Soldier Fly larvae, in Kibera, Kenya, one of the world’s largest slums
Renewable H2AllSlow sand filter adjusted to the customs of the community of Tamahula, Mexico and a for-profit enterprise which includes a low-cost dry season irrigation system
ZacatechA unique approach to educating rural subsistence farmers in Zacatecas, Mexico, about low-cost agricultural technologies
ZimbaPlusA small-volume dispenser for hand pump chlorinators
2010Comunidea!Student-based initiative to establish IDEAS-like competition at Loja Universityu, Ecuador
My City, My FutureYouth in the slums of Rio mapping their world
PiecemealImproved, modular, hygienic, lightweight and affordable food carts for street vendors in Bangkok, Thailand
The Grease ProjectBiodiesel retrofit for waste pickers in Sao Paulo, Brazil
2009Global Citizen Water InitiativeCoupling of inexpensive water quality test kits with open source spatial mapping for community water quality monitoring
Global Cycle SolutionsBicycle-Powered Businesses (Tanzania, Peru)
NutriVSystem to help health institutions keep track remotely of the progress of nutritional programs for undernourished children
Plastic Bag RecyclingA simple device to turn waste plastic bags into plastic yarn
SolSourceRural Energy Product Distributor (Greater Himalayas)
Urban AgricultureLow-cost household hydroponic system to produce higher yield crops
2007Biogas NicaraguaAlternative biogas energy solutions for rural and urban populations
ECVOWater distillation unit running off of excess automotive engine heat
Learn TB3-week educational curriculum to teach the school population about the TB disease, contraction, prevention, and treatment
Mapping DiseasePublicly-accessible, continuously-updated database to map disease outbreaks in specific geographical locations
New DOTSSolution for monitoring TB drug adherence paired with economic incentives
Sustainable SheltersAppropriate, innovative and affordable housing design to facilitate owner-driven reconstruction in disaster relief
Vac-CastHuman-powered, low-cost vacuum device used for sand-casting (SC) fitting to make prosthetic limbs
Development Ventures
2009AdjuvantSocial Venture Franchising (India + East Africa)
DataLibreCivic Sector Informatics (Philippines, US)
Design EDEducational Curriculum Development
GeniusMedical Advice Network
Global Citizen Water InitiativeCoupling of inexpensive water quality test kits with open source spatial mapping for community water quality monitoring
Gona GamesMobiles-Based Educational Games
MedHelp Home Healthcare Devices
MobileBusinessMobile-Enabled Merchant Tools (Africa)
Nautilus PowerFlexible Floating Power Systems
Novo BrazilPrivate Vocational Training (Brazil)
NZ CapitalMicro-Banking Services (Zimbabwe)
PowerUp! TechnologiesHand-Powered Electricity
Prosthetics For AllAffordable Limb Augmentations (India)
Quilombo EnergyRenewables-Power Plants (Africa)
SanergySanitation + Energy + Fertilizer Systems (Kenya)
SolSourceRural Energy Product Distributor (Greater Himalayas)
ThermoversionThermal-Powered Electricity (Kenya)
UBIQMobile-Enabled Financial Services (Nigeria)
VALAMobile-Enabled Informal Market-Making (India)
WoundPumpAffordable Wound-Healing Device
2008CivikaThe "Facebook" for Civic-Sector Leaders (Africa, Philippines)
Covalent GlobalPhilanthropic Micro-Grant Network (Kenya, Africa)
DuraAlokLow-Cost Eyeglasses Distributor (India)
Fair GoodsUrban Retailer Delivery Network (South Africa)
Global Cycle SolutionsBicycle-Powered Businesses (Tanzania, Peru)
LinqUsInfonet Connectivity & Services for the Elderly (India, China, Japan)
Moringa Agri ProductsCooperative-Owned Exporter (Kenya, Africa)
One SolCondominial Urban Sewer Solutions (Ghana, Africa)
PANAH NetworkMigrant Housing & Employment System (Asia, Africa)
PayGoMobile Phone Payment System (Pakistan, Mexico)
Prestige IncubatorBuilding Premium Import Brands (Latin America)
SolSourceRural Energy Product Distributor (Greater Himalayas)
Vidya Vitta Investor-to-SME Brokerage (Nigeria, Tanzania, Africa)
D-Lab: Health
2013Anemia iDXA non-invasive and accurate point of care diagnostic tool for anemia utilizing laser reflectance spectroscopy
GlucodetectA kit to make affordable glucose test strips using local materials in Nicaragua
StethoKitAn innovative stethoscope kit designed for the developing world with the ability to record, playback, and simulate heart sounds
2012AspiraMoldeVacuum casting system that takes the negative mold of a patient with a leg amputation and shortens prosthetic production time
circumVentilatorAttachment to mechanize bag-valve-mask (Ambu bag) ventilators to aid nurses while transporting patients over long distances
GlucoSuite2012Qualitative diagnostic for routine diabetes monitoring based on short pieces of string coated in Benedict’s solution wicking blood samples
The InfusadorBattery-powered syringe infusion pump with adjustable gear settings for variable rates of infusion for critical medication dosing for neonates
2011Low-cost Syringe Infusion PumpModular infusion pump for neonatal drug delivery with all movable parts made from locally available materials
MonicorA user-friendly, modular EKG for health practitioners at all levels to record and transmit diagnostically useful information about cardiac health
NososanoA device that prevents nosocomial infections by enabling nurses and parents to detect bacteria culturing on IV catheters in NICU patients
2010AmbuzapPortable low-cost defibrillator rechargable through the ambulance's power
BabyTracker Labor contraction monitor for Nicaraguan hospitals
EyeHemeNon-invasive anemia diagnostic based on reflectance spectroscopy from the eye
NebshairA breathe-actuated, dosage-monitoring attachment for jet nebulizers to treat multiple patients for respiratory illnesses
Swiss Army ElectrocauteryA combination scalpel and extendable electrocautery tip for rural surgical procedures
2009CyclonePedal-powered centrifuge for developing world laboratories
GlucoTankSustainable method of testing glucose levels using colormetric tests and CCD readers
NebulaSafe, electric-free nebulization device
POP bandagePost-operative bandage solution with an infection alert and control mechanism
Developing World Prosthetics
2011Exo-KneeLow-cost transfemoral prosthesis with mechanism to lock the knee joint during the stance phase and release it during the swing phase
Pediatric PylonA user-modifiable and adjustable pylon for growing patients. Project started in 2010, with new designs for its mechanism this year.
2010Improved Vacuum Cast SystemA more robust and longer lasting vacuum cast system for the developing world
Lego Leg KneeAn affordable, high performance knee prosthesis for communities in the developing world
Paediatric PylonA user-modifiable and adjustable pylon for growing patients made of non-toxic plastics and biodegradable fibers
Shape&Roll Cosmetic CoverDurable, cosmetic shell for the prosthetic Shape&Roll foot
2009Lego LegAffordable transtibial prosthesis assemblable with a set of sheets of carbon fiber and aluminum
Prosthetic HandLow-cost transradial prosthesis with variable mechanical advantage for closing/opening fingers
Shape&Roll FootTranstibial prosthesis made of PP with an adjustable attachment
2008Exo KneeLow-cost transfemoral prosthesis with mechanism to lock the knee joint during the stance phase and release it during the swing phase
Ez KneeCaliper with a mechanism that enables a user to lock his knee by hand
Polio BraceCaliper with mechanism to lock and unlock the knee in the stance and swing phase, respectively
D-Lab: Mobility
2011Economics of Wheelchair ProductionHow can we produce enough wheelchairs for everyone who needs one? A case study in Kenya
Hybrid WheelchairAn adjustable wheelchair that can double as an everyday and active chair through the use of a removable backrest and lightweight frame
Hybrid WheelchairAn adjustable wheelchair that can double as an everyday and active chair through the use of a removable backrest and lightweight frame
2010Leveraged Freedom ChairDesign improvements for the next generation of the Leveraged Freedom Chair
Post Office TrikeMobile post office run from a handcycle
PowertrikePower-assisted handcycle
2009Folding Tricycle AttachmentImproved tricycle wheelchair attachment for easier traveling over long distances
Power-assisted TricycleModified tricycle wheelchair with a power assist
Small Business AttachmentsWheelchair additions to support small business activities, and associated micro-finance support wheelchair-based micro-enterprises
Web Donation ToolWeb-based mechanism for fundraising for Worldwide Mobility
2008Folding 3-Wheeled WheelchairThree-wheeled wheelchair specially designed for easier traveling over rough terrain
Folding Tricycle AttachmentImproved tricycle wheelchair attachment for easier traveling over long distances
Mobile ImpactSupport and empowerment network for wheelchair recipients
Small Business AttachmentsWheelchair additions to support small business activities, and associated micro-finance support wheelchair-based micro-enterprises
Wheelchair Accessories for WomenDevice for female users to help carry objects in their wheelchairs
20072-Speed Tricycle Drive Train2-speed drive train for hand-powered tricycles
Folding 3-Wheeled WheelchairFolding system for 3-wheeled wheelchairs built in Africa
Improved Trike FrameLighter and stronger tricycle frame
Marketing StrategiesMethod to improve marketing strategies of small wheelchair workshops
D-Lab: Energy
2013Biodigester MaintenanceEducational materials on the installation and maintenance of biodigesters in the developing world for both children and adults
Ice Cream ChurnA pedal-powered ice cream churn developed with youth in El Salvador for income generation
Ice ShaverA pedal-powered device for making shaved ice developed with youth in El Salvador for income generation
Rabo QuenteA safer resistive water-heating showerhead for use in the favelas of Brazil
Solar Water HeaterImprovements to an economical rooftop solar water heating system
2012Emissions Testing of Cooking FuelsEmissions testing of alternative briquettes made of waste from the garment industry in Haiti, and comparison to charcoal and wood.
Low-Cost Solar Cell EncapsulationMethod of encapsulating solar cells using an EVA laminate and a Solar Cooker in northern Nicaragua with professional finish and minimal solar cell breaking
Orange Juice SealerRedesign and improve microchip and mechanics for orange juice sealer to improve robustness and longevity of the device
Solar Water DistillatorLarge scale water distillation device that is inexpensive, robust, simple to build, and with a 24 hour or shorter distillation cycle
2011Barrel on FireLow cost dugout and sealing process improves the agri-waste charcoal-making process by reducing heat exposure and safety risk to the user
Dehusking InsertA cheap, local process which dehusks rice more conveniently; this allows for personal consumption and income generation
Orange Juice SealerImprovements on a low-power heat sealer device to preserve surplus orange juice in single-serving plastic bags for transport and later sale
Solar Cellphone ChargerCompact device to convert solar energy to a usable voltage for charging cellphones, to be built locally in Nicaragua
2010Charcoal StoveA culturally appropriate charcoal stove that physically and visually integrates into existing local wood stoves
Plastic Bag SealerA device for sealing single use plastic bags for long term juice storage
Solar Cell CutterA device for accurately scoring and cutting scrap solar cells to be made into cell phone chargers
Solar Water DistillerA device for distilling salt water to be used in deep cycle batteries in solar installations
D-Lab: Supply Chains
2013Barefoot Power Design of a reverse logistics supply chain for warranty support for solar lamps
Pure Home Water FilterDistribution of water filters in Ghana, enabled by micro-financing
SolarClaveManufacturing and distributing a solar-powered autoclave, for use at health clinics in Nicaragua
2012Crayons Supply ChainDevelopment of organic crayons from local ingredients to widen use of pigment to other applications such as artist supplies
EssmartEssmart makes social impact technologies available in local retail shops so that they reach low-income end users
LFC Supply ChainOptimization of supply chain costs around the production of the Leveraged Freedom Chair to bring it from India to Guatemala
Moringa Oil Supply ChainEmpowering farmers by providing them with affordable processing technology and connecting them to export markets for moringa oil
Supply and Demand of Agricultural Waste CharcoalTo determine the optimal perimeters of agricultural waste charcoal production in rural Kenya, to match both supply and demand
D-Lab: Biodiversity
2012 Agroforestry Plan for Shade-grown CoffeeCreating a multi-story agroforest in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua with intercropping mahogany, firewood trees, lemongrass, coffee plants
Addressing Grassland DesertificationPermaculture and project analysis workshops to address desertification in Ganzi, Sichuan, and facilitate environmental planning
Diversification of Guayusa ProductionProduct diversification for guayusa farmers in the Ecuadorian Amazon to earn additional income, while assessing impact on biodiversity
D-Lab: Education
2013Atomic Bingo Transistor OrigamiPrototypes of low-cost, physically intuitive models of atomic structure and transistors designed with teachers in New Longoro, Ghana
Bidirectional Learning With Global PeersDigital exchange connecting the Advent School in Boston and the Avani School in Uttarakhand, India
InnovaTZ!Educational videos supporting innovation and invention in Tanzania
Luz del FuturoWorkshops empowering waste-pickers to develop public speaking, mathematics, and entrepreneurship skills in Bluefields, Nicaragua
MakerEDUPrimary school educational modules teaching creativity through design in suburban Massachusetts (Weston) and rural Uganda (Kasiisi) #candoattitude!
The Lenana ProjectFour week STEM camp working with teachers to develop hands-on projects in Lenana, an urban slum in Kenya