One Traffic Light Per Child


The XO machine of the One Laptop Per Child initiative has a display with two remarkable properties: in reflective mode it can be read under sunlight, and it can also work in both laptop and tablet mode. Add a dozen-line EToys program and you have a real traffic light.

Here are some photos and screen dumps.

Traffic light source code Traffic light image
The source code and the resulting image. You can download the EToys project from here. The magic incantations to copy this from a USB stick to the OLPC EToys directory are the following:

mount -t msdos /dev/sda1 /mnt
cp /mnt/ .sugar/default/etoys/MyEtoys
(I assume things will get easier once children work in an environment where they can share their work.)

The OLPC XO as a traffic light
The XO as a traffic light.
You can see that the display is folded into tablet mode, and that the patterns are clearly visible under the direct sunlight. The model I'm using is an early prototype, and has trouble with its battery, forcing me to plug it into mains power. The production machines could work standalone for more than eight hours.

Traffic waiting for the light to switch
Traffic waiting for the light to switch.
In the future I'd like to see EToys having direct access to the XO's mesh network. This would allow children to connect multiple interacting machines together, setting up for example a complete set of traffic lights for a crossing. What a way to experiment with computer networks!

Read and post comments, or share through   

Last modified: Saturday, March 24, 2007 11:16 pm

Creative Commons Licence

Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material on this page created by Diomidis Spinellis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.