Thursday, January 17, 2008

Animal power

I made a presentation in the Udai meeting about animal power. Draught animals such as horses, camels, oxen, and donkeys have been used since many centuries for transportation and farming. I will give examples of some non-conventional uses of animal power for tasks such as grain grinding and wood sawing, which are rarely seen today. Instead, there seems to be a tendency to rely on fossil-fuel or electricity powered equipment for these tasks, or else solely on manual labour. However, animal powered systems are a viable alternative, and probably a more appropriate technology for certain rural areas. We discussed how animal power can be popularized and made more efficient, and various issues that can come up in its usage. The bottomline is that to popularize animal power, the technology must be commercialized and the local people must be trained in the principles behind the technologies so that they can customize it for their needs.


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