Saturday, January 29, 2011

Locally Built vs. Imported Devices

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As we have stated before, the goal of our research is to develop technologies with developing African nations while keeping in mind the social constraints of the area. There is a tradeoff with choosing locally designed devices over imported devices, but we believe it will be worth it in the long run. With imported devices you get maximum efficiency, a top of the line machine that is assured success. However, there are two flaws with this choice. One is that, often, such devices need a lot of funding to implement and therefore are not widespread enough to succeed. However, when these devices are spread throughout an area, they lose their value as soon as they break because the locals don’t have immediate access to the materials needed to fix such high-tech devices. Also, this technology is much more expensive to develop and put into practice. It costs much more to make a wind turbine blade out of steel rather than to weave it.

The problem with locally designed devices is that they take more time to implement and they are less efficient. However, they are able to be repaired because they were built using resources within the area. They also help unemployment, which is as high as 80% in some areas. The biggest reason to try integrating locally designed devices is simply that using imported devices has not worked for decades, and it’s time we learn from our mistakes.

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