Saturday, March 13, 2010

Big Month...

February proved to be a big month for OneLab! We have been honored with the Battelle 2009 "Volunteer of the Year" award, the CEO of 3M sent a letter to our CEO, thanking us for all the hard work, and we are in the final throws of getting our Tax exempt status...

Goals for 2010:
- Secure grant funding
- Continue our great relationship with CTI and the thresher project
- Expand our work to include more people, diverse projects.

Looking forward to see what March brings!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


We are tired of waiting...

We filed papers on Wednesday with the State of Ohio to incorporate OneLab as an official non-profit entity. This should allow us to seek grant funding and tax deductible donations (once we get tax deductible status...that paperwork is next), as well as set our own course for the future without having to wait for others to "get it".

We all have been inspired by the work and are amazed at the incredible opportunities which present themselves every day. We have a few new projects in the works, an exciting opportunity to bring our message to a new forum, growing interest from the public and possible expanding scope from our great partners at CTI.

The last thing any of us need is another job...but the pull to do this work is too strong, the results too compelling and the impact too important...

“Melinda and I believe that helping the poorest small-holder farmers grow more crops and get them to market is the world's single most powerful lever for reducing hunger and poverty,”

- Bill Gates, after announcing $120 million worth of new grants to support the worlds poorest farmers.

Results from Mali...

Thom returned safe and sound from his trip to early Christmas gift for us here at OneLab. Our friends over at CTI have already been receiving inquiries about the thresher, most noticeably from the Peace Corps Africa. The next phase of the project is to refine the design so it can be fabricated from metal. We hope to build a few more prototypes, but the end goal is to develop a system that can be built and maintained in the specific country of use.

A brief overview of the trip:

A working farm:

Harvested millet waiting to be processed:

Storage (notice pile of millet in back right...and GIANT chicken at bottom!)

Transportation from fields:

New method of threshing (we didn't expect this one...which is EXACTLY why field observation is critical) Notice small black lumps on ground at right...apparently this site also served as the mules restroom...



Prototype test: Notice the plastic bottle. This was used to cover the panicle (stalk) during the stripping because the grains were flying all over the place (yet another example of the importance of field testing)

Power winnowing:

Final product:


The real results:

The system was left in Mali for additional testing and we hope to have more data to further validate these incredible results!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mali field test...

Thom has returned from Mali with over 400 images and video of the prototype being tested... I will post images soon!

TEDx Columbus - now online!

10 minutes to tell our story...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

End to End test

This was the first end to end test of the stripper/thresher/winnower.

Dare I say...fabulous!

Thom had an moment of inspiration while tearing apart his dryer to fix it...he found a little plastic fan that put out LOTS of air with LITTLE movement. The yellow rig you see in the video is a hand cranked fertilizer applicator...not the final thing, but a HUGE leap forward...

Thom will be backing up the system, and himself, for a trip to Mali in December to test the system in remote villages. The system will most likely stay there, and we will continue to refine based on user feedback.

In the meantime, we await the first harvest of fresh millet from the USDA to validate the yield and time estimates...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TEDx Columbus

Thanks to all who came out to see the first TEDx Columbus to hear our little story!

I had lots to say, and only 10 minutes to say it, so I hope it all came out clearly...

I will post the videos as soon as they are ready...

Big thanks to Thom and Jeff for all the hard work, and to all the other people who have helped make this idea into something will surely make a difference in the lives of others...

This is good stuff...