[Sca-cooks] Fw: [TexasIntentionalCommunities] Cycling For Food...
bhadradharma at gmail.com
Fri Mar 21 09:19:31 PDT 2008
A friend of mine sent this to me and I thought someone might be interested
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2008 14:30:13 -0000
Subject: [TexasIntentionalCommunities] Cycling For Food...
Cycling For Food:
Engineers Work On Pedal-powered Grain Crusher
ScienceDaily (Mar. 21, 2008)
Heather Klein crisscrosses the campus of Glassboro, N.J.'s Rowan
University, from the College of Engineering to the townhouses, the
dining hall to the Rec Center, on a blue Huffy 26-inch beach cruiser
She's hoping a clone of the bike, picked up at the K-Mart in
Glassboro for about a hundred bucks, may some day make the difference in
the lives of people living half a world away.
Klein, 22, a senior civil engineering major from Toms River; Josh
Bonzella, 22, a senior civil engineering major from Mullica Hill; and
Kevin McGarvey, 22, a senior mechanical engineering major from
Williamstown, are working with Dr. Beena Sukumaran, a civil and
environmental engineering professor, to develop a pedal-powered grain
Their goal? To produce a fairly simple mechanical device that people in
developing countries can use to process anything from corn to barley. If
it's successful, the grain crusher can help produce food for
residents of Third World countries and enable some people to generate an
income as they travel from community to community crushing foodstuff for
Right now, the device which students have been working on for the
better part of two years and which has gone through several iterations
is in the development stage. The students and professor, as part
of a Rowan Engineering Clinic, have built an aluminum grain crusher that
attaches to the bicycle, which is mounted on a stand. As a rider pedals,
the back wheel moves a contact element that turns a pulley that moves
plates in the crusher to process the food from large to fine pieces
suitable for cooking. Corn, lentils, split peas and barley the
grain crusher has worked on them all.
Sukumaran said the project is the first in what she hopes will be
Rowan's own "Entrepreneurs Without Borders," a
technical-business take on Doctors Without BordersTM and Engineers
Without BordersTM, in which Rowan has been active for several years. She
hopes if the Rowan team members come up with a workable design they can
transfer it to people in developing nations to produce themselves.
"That's why we didn't want a very complicated design,"
said Sukumaran, who added members of Rowan's EWB teams traveling to
El Salvador and Senegal this year will contact local villages there to
determine if they could benefit from such equipment. "We wanted to
come up with some kind of mechanized device that does not depend on
"This bike could be any bike. We made the grain crusher so many
different size tires and wheel configurations will work with it. Someone
could ride this from village to village and then connect to the
community grinder and basically perform this task," said Bonzella.
He noted variations of the grain crusher do exist, but they generally
feature store-bought, hand-operated grinders that are very labor
Klein is pleased to be lending her expertise and energy to such an
important effort. "It will be nice to see it used by people who
really need it," she said. "That will be the best thing
that people's lives can be made easier because of this project."
Sukumaran said the team is working with Rowan's Center for
Innovation & Entrepreneurship on a business plan and is considering
patenting the device, which she estimates will cost under $200. And the
team that started with a grain grinder because food is something
everyone needs may next take on a request from a friend of the
professor's from India who asked Rowan to develop a mechanical soil
Adapted from materials provided by Rowan University.
Love and hugs,
Peace, and Prosperity
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