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6 posts

Wannabe Geek


# 33713 10-May-2009 17:06
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Hey guys,


I’m studying engineering at Canterbury university (intermediate year). I have been given a group assignment which is worth 25% of our final grade for a paper. We have to come up with a solution for Cambodians living along rural areas of the Tonle Sap lake be able to communicate through technology. Most people live on floating raft type houses and the area has allot of poverty. 75% of Cambodia has cell phone coverage but hardly anyone has a cellphone, however most have TVs. They generate power via diesel/petrol generators which charge 12 car batteries. The solution also needs to be low cost, and easily distributed and used. The brief states that communication is required for education and civil emergencies, and also says it would be good to use some of their existing technology. We think that the communication does not have to be two way, but two way would be desired.


We have been thinking about this for a while and have thought of a few solutions, these include:

A teletext type system for their TVs, where they can receive news, weather, and other info....basically like the NZ teletext.

Inexpensive cellphones

Satellite communication for internet and TV, however they need computers for the internet and this would be very expensive.


To power the solution we thought of using part solar/part generator. We also thought about tidal movements and wind but don’t know how reliable they would be.


Basically I just wanted other people’s thoughts and opinions about our project. Is there anything we might have overlooked for communication devices? Would a shortwave radio do the trick?


Look forward to your feedback.


Alex


B.T.W here is a link to the challenge site:

http://www.ewb.org.au/ewbchallenge/

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1786 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 213888 10-May-2009 17:31
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wow, this is quite a mission for a first year, I guess you have covered most of the issues, but there are samples you can take from other parts of the globe that has this set up already like the amazon or such like. I will have a look at the design brief and see what other suggestions can be given.

So is this the scope of the project here?

Theme 7 / Education and Information Technology

88% of the Cambodian population is covered
by a mobile phone network.3 In 2001, Cambodia
had 31,000 wired phones and 250,000 mobile
phones, a ratio of about one to eight - the” world’s
highest mobile share”.3 In 2006, there were only
0.3 computers per 100 people in Cambodia.3
Only 0.3% of Cambodian’s use the internet
(with only 0.01% of the population subscribed
to broadband).3 However, 43% of households
in Cambodia have a television set, a majority of
them powered by 12 V car batteries.3
With 90% of Cambodians living in rural areas,2
providing access to communication technologies
proves to be an enormous challenge. This is
complicated by the relatively high prices of
access to information technologies. Cambodians
love karaoke though, and you will find karaoke
machines in surprisingly remote places. Karaoke
can be a powerful education tool when used to
convey education messages about human rights,
health and environmental issues.
In the floating villages of the Tonle Sap, some
access to information technologies exists due
to the creativity of the people living in these
communities. However, it is made difficult by the
floating context and many people cannot afford
access.
Information, communication and technology
provide opportunities to develop innovative
solutions to the problems encountered by
communities living on and around the Tonle Sap.
EWB and Live & Learn invite you to consider one
or more of the following design projects:
• Mobile phones for education/training tool
• Hardware for interactive educational games
• Software for educational games relating to
human rights, health and environmental
issues
• Severe weather warning system



6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 213890 10-May-2009 18:21
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yep, thats exactly it.

 
 
 
 




6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 213891 10-May-2009 18:25
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However that is the one set by EWB. The one set by the university which we have to follow is:

Design Project Statement:
Information transmission can improve the safety, education, and well being of any society.
Design a viable means of transmitting information to remote villages in Cambodia. The system should reach most of the population and be suitable for educational and emergency broadcast of information.

Preliminary Information:
In Cambodia, most villagers have access to a television and radio but few have access to electronics that can send information (such as mobile phones). The primary locations where people can access information are at schools, home or at various technology shops (which have mobile phones and 12V battery chargers). Rarely do villages have access to the internet so any improvement to the accessibly of web content will be a huge improvement, for instance broadcast of internet news feeds over TV channels.
You will develop a system to deliver information to remote villages. There are many possible mechanisms of transmission: radio, tv and mobile phones are the primary means for timely delivery. Less time-sensitive information can be delivered by printed media, video tape or digital media. Educational information has a useful lifetime of many days (or sometimes years), while severe weather warnings have a useful lifetime of hours (or sometimes minutes). Using a minimal infrastructure investment, you will come up with ideas that facilitate a wide range of information communication. The ideal solution should work with existing technology and allow villages and support organisations to gradually invest in improvements to the system (for instance buying or upgrading transmitters).

1786 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 213892 10-May-2009 18:37
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hmm well without doing your assignment for you I would suggest looking at Aceh may be after the tsunami and how they're developing that, and there are tons of that on google. :) good luck.

637 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 213908 10-May-2009 20:08
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drinkie9128: Hey guys,


I’m studying engineering at Canterbury university (intermediate year). I have been given a group assignment which is worth 25% of our final grade for a paper. We have to come up with a solution for Cambodians living along rural areas of the Tonle Sap lake be able to communicate through technology. Most people live on floating raft type houses and the area has allot of poverty. 75% of Cambodia has cell phone coverage but hardly anyone has a cellphone, however most have TVs. They generate power via diesel/petrol generators which charge 12 car batteries. The solution also needs to be low cost, and easily distributed and used. The brief states that communication is required for education and civil emergencies, and also says it would be good to use some of their existing technology. We think that the communication does not have to be two way, but two way would be desired.

Interesting project, and I think you have some good solutions.

However, the information in the assignment is wrong (well, outdated).  Cambodia has pretty good cell coverage, and pretty good population acceptance (although a long way off a developed nation). 

I've travelled to Cambodia a few times for work; and there are 8 mobile operators there.  There's currently something around 4.5 million active subscribers in the market, out of a 14 million population.  This is up from 3.5 million at the end of '08, so they're growing quickly.  In Phnom Penh you would almost be hard pressed to find someone without a cellphone!

There's also at least two WiMAX operators; and several FTTH operators as well as xDSL.  FTTH and xDSL are not cheap, but amusing that they have them!  Investment in the comms industry is extremely high.

880 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 213913 10-May-2009 20:25
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On the power side,maybe have a couple of different ways of charging your batteries / device. Eg solar and wind. I'm sitting here in a bach that is powered by a combination of wind, hydro and solar so aways some way of charging the batteries. A small solar panel combined with a marine type wind generator would give you some diversity in charging. So unless you have 5 days of cloudy windless days, you get some power.

Shortwave radio I think is a great one way solution, A one child per laptop solution for your 2 way connection and the mobile network might be a step up...

Anyway that's my $0.02 worth

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