Awasu » Digital Pony Express
Monday 26th January 2004 3:11 PM [General]

First we had bicycle-powered WiFi, then this (annoying registration required):

Since the system went into place last September at the new elementary school here in Cambodia's remote northeast corner, solar panels have been powering three computers. Once a day, an Internet "Motoman" rides a cherry red Honda motorcycle slowly past the school. On the passenger seat is a gray metal box with a short fat antenna. The box holds a wireless Wi-Fi chip set that allows the exchange of e-mail between the box and computers. Briefly, this schoolyard of tree stumps and a hand-cranked water well becomes an Internet hot spot

It is a digital pony express: five Motomen ride their routes five days a week, downloading and uploading e-mail. The system, developed by a Boston company, First Mile Solutions, uses a receiver box powered by the motorcycle's battery. The driver need only roll slowly past the school to download all the village's outgoing e-mail and deliver incoming e-mail. The school's computer system and antenna are powered by solar panels. Newly collected data is stored for the day in a computer strapped to the back of the motorcycle. At dusk, the motorcycles converge on the provincial capital, Ban Lung, where an advanced school is equipped with a satellite dish, allowing a bulk e-mail exchange with the outside world.

Cool! :-)

And the best bit?

Users say the Motoman system is starting to change lives.

2 Responses to this post

Just like many Americans, I could stand to lose a few pounds. Can one get a stationary version of this bike for use in the home.

Ride the bike to power your surfing habit :)

Given my level of fitness, I don't think I could handle going back to a 300 baud connection :roll:

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