Create a local network without even needing a power grid or Internet

The small device creates a totally wireless network - with or without internet. [Image: UNIGE]

On-demand network

It can be to act in areas of environmental disaster or epidemics, disseminate technologies or make educational projects feasible in remote areas or do field research - there are numerous examples where it becomes necessary to establish a communications network without having an infrastructure.

He was thinking about cases as soon as a team from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, created the Beekee Box .

The device is able to establish a wireless local access network without even relying on an electric power grid - everything runs on batteries.

First-aid groups, teachers, doctors, technicians, and of course the general population, can connect to the wireless network using their cell phones or computers.

"It's as if users are browsing an educational platform on the web, but without the need for the internet or the power grid. Anyone who is connected can follow complete training programs, conduct assessments, access documents, or interact with their peers in time real," said Professor Vincent Widmer, who is responsible for the development of the Beekee Box.

Network for training

The Beekee Box is made of plastic, measuring 10 cm in height and 6.5 cm in width. Inside there is a complete microcomputer, plus the battery and an SSD disk with the capacity to store up to 256 GB of data.

The network's autonomy is about 3 hours, but an external battery module, which is recharged using solar energy, allows operations for up to 10 continuous hours.

The box itself is also simple to use: teachers export from your computer all the educational material they need directly to the device, and then take the box with you to anywhere in the world. Users only need to connect their mobile devices to the local network generated by the Beekee Box to access and transmit content.

"Teachers can restrict their interactions with students only to the network of the box, without the data being shared over the internet. Everything remains confidential and compartmentalized at the Beekee Box , which is a great asset in terms of protecting personal data," said researcher Stephane Morand.

The team is now tweaking the programs, which will be available on the open source system. And the field tests have already begun.

"We are currently working with Doctors Without Borders to help physicians deliver crisis management training and send recent medical guides. Our goal is to make educational, technological, and research resources available to analyze context and provide tailored solutions, Widmer said.


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