Empowering Minds: OCW brings educational opportunities to Sierra Leone

Student builds robot from old toy parts using course materials from 6.270.

 Mohamed Harding (right) reviews the wiring of his autonomous robot with mentor David Sengeh.

Mohamed Harding (right) reviews the wiring of his autonomous robot with mentor David Sengeh.

Mohamed Harding is a 17-year-old student from Freetown, Sierra Leone, whose passion for electronics lends a whole new meaning to the notion of “do-it-yourself.” Despite growing up in one of the poorest countries in the world, where a decade-long civil war devastated both educational and living standards, Mohamed recently taught himself how to make a sophisticated, programmable, autonomous robot from nothing but junk.

Armed with just a soldering gun, some broken toy parts and knowledge gained from MIT OpenCourseWare, he built a “grab and spy” robot that could easily have competed in the famous 6.270 Autonomous Robot Design Competition course that inspired him. “I used a chip which I extracted it from a spoiled toy, and the components of dinosaur legs which have a gear system to make robot arms,” Mohamed says. “The trunk has a USB webcam and LED lights to spy. I have tested it and shown it to my friends and they have all assured me that they are going to use OCW to make similar things.”

Read more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s