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92,000 LEGO Robots To Take Over Peruvian Schools Alongside OLPC 56

An anonymous reader writes "The president of Peru, Alan Garcia, decided to celebrate the 500,000th One Laptop Per Child XO laptop in that country in style, announcing orders for half a million more and 20,000 additional Lego education WeDo robot kits for public schools, bringing the total number of kits for distribution up to 92,000. The latest OLPC laptop, the XO-1.75, has the lowest power draw ever thanks to a Marvell Armada 600 ARM processor and runs Fedora GNU/Linux with dual desktops Sugar (in Spanish, Aymara, and Quechua) and GNOME. For the first time, the XOs will be manufactured locally; the previous 2 million, including the blue high school variant with grownup keyboard, were all made by Quanta Computer. Meanwhile, parallel development continues on the upcoming XO-3 tablet; OLPC's New Technologies director is exploring software paths including GTK3 for Sugar, Android and Chrome. I, for one, salute our new plastic Peruvian overlords."
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92,000 LEGO Robots To Take Over Peruvian Schools Alongside OLPC

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  • Yet another big advantage that Peruvian school children will have over Americans.

    The first being that they don't giggle uncontrollably when they hear about "Lake Titicaca."

    • in a deeply religious country like Peru they are forging ahead into the future in their school system. here in the US the republicans, using deeply religious ideology, are forging the school systems back int the dark ages. so now we can lag third world countries as a world class fourth world country.
  • by Drakkenmensch ( 1255800 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @09:03AM (#35756122)
    I, for one, welcome our new LEGO overlords!
    • Good thing you didn't read the last line of the summary before posting this, or else you wouldn't have been able to make it to first post... oh, wait...
    • by bberens ( 965711 )
      I wish I went to a school where they gave me a computer to muck around with and lego robots to control.
      • I did! Granted we didn't have the actual Mindstorm stuff, I did do a class titled 'Robotics' which was basically just playing around with Lego/Technic, and making things that can do stuff.

  • by hufman ( 1670590 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @09:11AM (#35756184)
    When will these OLPC XO-1.75 be ready for general consumers to buy? I have decided that this 2W laptop with 20 hours of battery shall be my next purchase, but when will Amazon or any other store carry them?
    • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @09:15AM (#35756212)
      I agree, I think the markets really underestimated the publics desire to have something like this.
    • I'm fairly certain the answer is never. The worst part is they're, like, $200 each. Take that iPad, am I right?
      • And they could easily finance OLPC to the rest of the world by selling it to the general public. Instead of 200, sell it for 300 or 400... This way the "wealthy developed world" will pay for them to be made and GIVEN to poorer countries.
        • by Jeng ( 926980 )

          That is one way it was promoted at first. Buy one for yourself and one gets donated.

          It didn't do too well, would be best for them to just plain sell them on the open market at a decent price point.

  • An XO Tablet? Really? Now we are so sold on this tablet fad that we won't even teach the children to use a keyboard anymore?
    • Yeah! Why back when I was a boy, we didn't have no fancy-dancy-tablety-touchy-feely-screens for our inputs. No Sir! We used a GENU-WINE IBM keyboard weighing in at about 40 pounds and made of good honest American gunmetal steel. When if finally wore out you could use is as a boat anchor or sell it for scrap for a pretty penny. Yes, that's the way it was, AND WE LIKED IT.........!

  • by hjf ( 703092 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @09:25AM (#35756360) Homepage

    American schools want kids to have iPads, and Peruvian schools give kids laptops and robot building kits. I wonder which one will help their development? The closed platform where they could spend the day playing Angry Birds, or the open platform where they can actually do USEFUL things. With robots!

    Anyway, keep in mind... Peruvian kids (or latin american kids in general) are too ugly to use Apple products. They must look just awful in black turtlenecks, right?

    I hope someone reads this before I get downmodded by the Hipster Fanboi crowd.

    • by MBCook ( 132727 )
      I was about to mod you insightful for your first paragraph. Then I read the rest. Way to prevent any chance of a good mod.
    • by sootman ( 158191 )

      1) Start reading here [] and then check out the rest of his blog.

      I can give you are some practical anecdotes which, I hope, will give you a flavour of the change.

      • Last week, we couldn't get the Primary 3 pupils to stop doing maths and go for lunch.
      • My daughter April asked me if I could install the educational apps from school on my iPad so she could use them at home.
      • We're seeing a reduction in the amount of homework forgotten or not done.
      • "Forgetting your folder" for a subject is now a thing of the past.

      2) a) You're a douche. b) You know Apple LOVES multi-ethnics in their ads. :-)

  • an XO (which IIRC is open design down to the BIOS) with a normal keyboard? Pretty cool, I missed the news about it till now. This is worth more than all the iPad related announcements that flood the web, at least for me.

    • by cananian ( 73735 )
      Yeah, OLPC (and the XO) have been making steady progress for the past few years. There are "grown up" versions of the XO with more standard keyboards, and the XO-1.5 have more memory and processor than before, etc.
  • Big fan of OLPC and of Legos - so this rocks.
  • Can they learn to program on these things? Lego's and laptops are great, but I'm skeptical about the overall benefits of programs like these. Another problem is whether the kids really get to learn the fundamentals of the chips and hardware that go into these little OLPC's. What happens when the kids grow up and technology marches along to the next thing? Wouldn't it be better to be able to rent low cost OLPC's from a central source then take them back when you are done or the technology has been obsoleted?

    • I can vouch that these programs will help. I started programming the old RCX Lego Robots back when I was in elementary(ish) school. They are a great tool for introducing many beginning engineering concepts for mechanical and programming. There is a program in the USA(and other countries) called FLL or FIRST which puts on competitions with these robots for elementary/junior high school kids, and it was really one of the reasons I got into computer programming. I would love to see more of these educational en

    • I can't say what the XO-1.75 is like, but I do have an XO-1 that I use regularly.

      The XO-1's UI is heavily written in Python and has a simplified IDE for Python installed by default. It also comes with the awesome Scratch and Etoys images for its customised Squeak Smalltalk VM. There's also a LOGO program by default, and a POSIX terminal (which itself is written in Python from what I can tell). Holding down the game keys while booting can also bring up the OpenFirmware console and a Game of Life simulator. I

  • If only India could work with the OLPC, instead of blabbering about making $30 tablets. Most public schools here are terrible, to say the least, even in the most "developed" of places. Sigh.
  • Hm. And I thought there'd be more interest here in the Android and ChromeOS angles. I guess not.

    --scott (Director, New Technology, OLPC)

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