Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Homebuilt Tech Tools for the Developing World

        Tech | Everyday Tech

Author's Note

Most of the "new" technologies presented in this article aren't new at all, but are based on centuries-old concepts. Makes you wonder how many great ideas have been lost to history.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Ashden. "Gira, Mexico: Fuel efficient stoves." Technologies: Wood stoves. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.ashden.org/winners/gira
  • Balancing Act. "Cantenna: DIY Can-based Cheap Wi-Fi Offers Opportunities for Rural Access." (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.balancingact-africa.com/news/en/issue-no-274/internet/cantenna-diy-can-bas/en
  • Banks, Ken. "How Solar Energy and Mobile Phones are Powering the Developing World." National Geographic NewsWatch. April 17, 2012. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/04/17/pay-as-you-go-sunshine-how-solar-energy-and-mobile-phones-are-powering-the-developing-world/
  • Computer Aid International. Annual Report 2010/2011. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.computeraid.org/uploads/FINAL-PDF.pdf
  • The Earth Institute. "Extreme Poverty: A Global Emergency." Columbia University. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/1780
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. "Success in hunger fight hinges on better use of water." Media Centre. March 22, 2012. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/130033/icode/
  • Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. "Cookstove Technology." (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.cleancookstoves.org/our-work/the-solutions/cookstove-technology.html
  • Gonzalez, Ramon. "4 DIY Compost Bins You Can Build in One Day." TreeHugger. April 23, 2012. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/4-diy-compost-bins-you-can-build-one-day-video.html
  • Gonzalez, Ramon. "Harvest the Rain with these 4 DIY Rain Barrels." TreeHugger. May 21, 2012. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/harvest-rain-these-four-homemade-rain-barrels.html
  • Goodier, Rob. "Ten low-tech ways to irrigate crops." Engineering for Change. Jan. 3, 2012. (Sept. 3, 2012) https://www.engineeringforchange.org/news/2012/01/23/ten_low_tech_ways_to_irrigate_crops.html
  • Grover, Sami. "How to Build a DIY Solar Oven." TreeHugger. Sept. 13, 2011. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/how-to-build-a-diy-solar-oven-video.html
  • Gurstelle, William. "Who Needs a Grill? Build a Hot-box Solar Oven." Popular Mechanics. Aug. 12, 2011. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/woodworking/who-needs-a-grill-build-a-hot-box-solar-oven#ixzz1XiHqcTYm
  • Home Depot. "Buying Guides: Evaporative Coolers." (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/ContentView?pn=KH_BG_BM_HVC_Evaporative_Coolers
  • "How to build your own cantenna to boost wifi range." YouTube video. Dec. 31, 2008. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVjN9EK7B0E
  • Instructables. "Mini Solar Air-Conditioner (a.k.a Swamp cooler)." (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.instructables.com/id/Mini-Solar-Air-Conditioner/?ALLSTEPS
  • Kim, Yongsoo, Tim Kelly and Siddhartha Raja. "Building broadband: Strategies and policies for the developing world." Global Information and Communication Technologies Department, World Bank. January 2010. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTINFORMATIONANDCOMMUNICATIONANDTECHNOLOGIES/Resources/282822-1208273252769/Building_broadband.pdf
  • Lombardi, Candace. "Nokia unveils bicycle-powered phone charger." CNET. June 3, 2010. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20006677-54.html
  • Make. "Solar Laptop/Device Charger." Make Projects: Gadgets. February 2011. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://makeprojects.com/Project/Solar-Laptop-Device-Charger/622/1#.UEjrVY1lS3Y
  • Mlot, Stephanie. "Mobile Use in Developing Nations Skyrockets." PC Magazine. July 18, 2012. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407335,00.asp
  • One Laptop Per Child. "1 in 20 Latin American children use an OLPC laptop." OLPC Blog. March 24, 2012. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://blog.laptop.org/2012/03/24/1-in-20-lat-am-children-use-xos/#.UE42iY1lS3Y
  • Powell, Andrea. "Cheap, simple composting toilet concept receives funding from Gates Foundation". Gizmag. Nov. 8, 2011. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.gizmag.com/gates-foundation-composting-toilet-duke-university/20422/
  • Practical Action. "Zeer Pot Fridge." Food and Agriculture Solutions. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://practicalaction.org/zeer-pot-fridge
  • Ragan, Sean. "Make: Projects – Pedal-powered phone charger." Make DIY Projects. Jun. 7, 2009. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://blog.makezine.com/2009/06/07/how-to-pedal-powered-phone-charger/
  • Rehm, Gregory. "How to Build a Tin Can Waveguide WiFi Antenna." (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/cantennahowto.html
  • Rosenthal, Elisabeth. "The Cost of Cool." The New York Times. Aug. 18, 2012. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/sunday-review/air-conditioning-is-an-environmental-quandary.html?pagewanted=all
  • Rosenthal, Elisabeth. "African Huts Far from the Grid Glow with Renewable Energy." The New York Times. Dec. 24, 2010. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/25/science/earth/25fossil.html?pagewanted=all
  • Southern Innovator. "Record-Breaking Wireless Internet to Help Rural Areas." (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.southerninnovator.org/index.php/technology/67
  • World Health Organization. "Water supply, sanitation and hygiene development." Water Sanitation Health. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/en/
  • University of Missouri Extension. "How to Build a Compost Bin." Lawn and Garden. (Sept. 3, 2012) http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6957

More to Explore