Solar3 Box Contest
The Solar3 project began as an IPRO led by Assistant Professor of Political Science Laura Hosman. The idea behind the project was to develop a solar-powered laptop station that could be cost-effectively deployed in schools with no access to electricity around the world. Hosman and her team designed such a system, and called it Solar3. They created a large box made of wood and metal that holds six Intel Classmate laptops and two solar panels; designed to lower costs, the box also transforms into a sturdy table to hold the laptops.
The Solar3 project received significant funding from Google, the Pacific Telecommunications Council, and the Internet Society. The team has since traveled to Micronesia to deploy their first solar computer lab in a box.
This deployment was a success! However, the deployment also revealed several challenges facing the current box/table design. Before more boxes are ordered and produced, these issues must be resolved. The purpose of this contest is to redesign this apparatus to better suit the project’s needs. Teams of one to six people will design a box/table apparatus following the rules below. The team will submit all relevant materials online (an in-person presentation may be requested if the team feels their design needs more explanation). The winning team will receive a $300 cash prize and will get to see the prototyping and deployment of their new and improved design.