February 8, 2016

Things have picked up here at Riverpoint Academy! We're working full steam ahead on a number of things.

 

The tech team is currently working on prototyping. We've acquired sheet metal and have begun the process of bending and welding it to shape. As it stands right now, our rocket stove is a canister, with a mouth for feeding fuel and an exhaust spout. Aidan (our tech lead) has been welding up the parts at his home shop. All we have left to do is manufacture the heat sinks and wire up our exhaust fans and LED strips. We're looking at a functioning prototype by the end of next week.

Aidan and John are eager to share their progress on the build, and would like to go more in depth. They've begun a tech vlog where you can watch and learn about the nitty gritty details in our prototyping and manufacture process. Here's a link to their first vlog: https://youtu.be/L_7ZMzCGdok

 

 

 

Some other exciting developments come from our design ethnographer Cierra. She's made several contacts that will allow us to learn more about our end user, and create a better product. Our first contact was Illah Nourbakhsh, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. Illah has been working on a project that deals with indoor pollution in Uganda, and has been working alongside a local non-profit. He's put us in contact with  Sylvia Namukasa, the founder and executive director of Kyempapu. Kyempapu is a grass roots, non-profit organization that "is committed to community development, environmental management, and poverty alleviation in Kirinda, Uganda and its surrounding communities." Sylvia has been answering our questions and providing us with a unique and valuable perspective on the user's side of traditional Ugandan cooking methods, and the actual needs of her community in Kirinda. Here's a link to Kyempapu's site, for more information: http://kyempapu.org/index.html

In the coming days we'll be prepping for our MGTR, gathering more research, and prototyping. Thanks for reading, and check back soon for more updates.