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Prototype of Nutsy
FBP Nutsy. The Full Belly Project (FBP), has designed a Universal Nut Sheller (UNS) that are distributing throughout West Africa and Haiti. The UNS shells large amounts of nuts in a fraction of the time that it would take a single person.

Our Engr215 Introduction to Design class from Humboldt State University was divided into seven teams, each consisting of four members. Each team was given one of three assignments:

  • Create a smaller version of the UNS to be marketed in the US in order to fund FBP's efforts abroad.
  • Find a way to make a UNS out of cheaper, lighter and more sustainable materials for the countries of West Africa.
  • Find a way to make molds out of recycled plastic bags for the working parts of the UNS using extremely limited resources in Haiti.

Our team worked on the first of these assignments by redesigning the UNS to be marketable in the United States.

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CCAT Wash n Flush

Are you on a purified water grid? Frustrated at flushing your bodily waste with some of the cleanest drinking water in the world? Do something about it.

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Community action news

Jun 28 Climate news: US, Canada and Mexico pledge 50% of power from clean energy by 2025 [1]

Jun 28 'Largest community-owned' solar farm in Australia taking root in Canberra vineyard [2]

Römerberg houses on the west side.jpg
Jun 24 Germany: German government agrees to ban fracking after years of dispute [3]

Jun 23 Norway: Oslo votes to slash emissions 95% by 2030 [4]

Jun 23 Berlin pulls funds out of fossil fuel companies [5]

Read More...


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Hansen at the Our Opportunity student summit in March 2009
A global tipping point will be reached in 10 years [ 2016 ] if levels of greenhouse gases like methane and CO2 are not reduced. Global warming at this point becomes unstoppable.

James HansenW
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A windmill is used to power a water pump which fills a swimming pool.
Appropriate technology (AT) is technology that is designed with special consideration to the context of its use - including environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, and economical aspects of the community it is intended for. With these goals in mind, AT proponents claim their methods require fewer resources, are easier to maintain, and have less of an impact on the environment compared to techniques from mainstream technology, which they contend is wasteful and environmentally polluting.

The term is usually used to describe simple technologies proponents consider suitable for use in developing nations or less developed rural areas of industrialized nations. This form of "appropriate technology" usually prefers labor-intensive solutions over capital-intensive ones, although labor-saving devices are also used where this does not mean high capital or maintenance cost. In practice, appropriate technology is often something described as using the simplest level of technology that can effectively achieve the intended purpose in a particular location. In industrialized nations, the term appropriate technology takes a different meaning, often referring to engineering that takes special consideration of its social and environmental ramifications.

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ENGR 215 Introduction to Design projects – Fall 2008: Full Belly Project: The Fall 2008 semester of Engineering 215 worked with the Full Belly Project to adapt their Universal Nut Sheller in the following three manners:

Fall 2008 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - Full Belly Project
The LC sheller
Innovating concrete with sawdust and clay to lower the costs and weight using materials available in some parts of Western Africa  
The Full Bell
Improves the original UNS by reducing the cost and increasing durability of the sheller  
Hot Dang Plastic Encasement
Waste plastic bags available in Haiti cleaned, cut, crocheted and ironed into a hard plastic mold  
Pressed Plastic
A process to thermoform waste plastic bags to form molds for nut shellers using resources available in Haiti  
Nutsy
Shaped like an acorn the Nutsy aims to be a smaller, more portable, and more aesthetically pleasing version of the UNS for marketing within the US  
Multiplicity
Smaller U.S. prototype with exchangeable rotors for different size nuts  
Simple Simon
Smaller US prototype made from wood and aluminum  
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