EC.701J | Fall 2009 | Undergraduate

D-Lab I: Development

Related Resources

This page presents additional technology resources from D-Lab, related videos featuring D-Lab instructors, and development indicator statistics resources.

D-Lab Technology Resources

[Please note: this content was obtained from the D-Lab Resources page on December 12, 2011. Users are encouraged to check that page for later updates.]

Learn how to build and use D-Lab technologies! Whether you are working with a community that will greatly benefit from adopting these technologies, or you want to learn new building skills, or you want to set up a workshop to disseminate these innovations, here you will find all the materials that you will need:

  • Background Notes: Contextual information about the challenges being addressed, history of technology development, and project deployment status.
  • Build-It Modules: For students to learn basic shop skills while building a practical technology that can be disseminated in the field. Also comes in a version with teaching notes to provide more insight into the technology and guide the teacher/facilitator.
  • Do-It Modules: For making and disseminating D-Lab innovations. Uses minimal text and simple black & white drawings to facilitate translation, printing, distribution and implementation in the field. To help the documents last longer, we recommend laminating them or using sheet protectors.


These documents describe the tools and processes needed to make charcoal from agricultural waste, which provides a clean-burning, environmentally-friendly alternative to wood charcoal.

  • Charcoal Background Notes (PDF - 1.3MB)
  • Charcoal Press Built-It (PDF)
  • Charcoal Press Build-It (with Teaching Notes) (PDF)
  • Charcoal Press Do-It (PDF)
  • Charcoal Process Do-It (PDF - 1.5MB)

Corn Shellers

These documents describe the tools and processes for making a simple hand-held device for removing the dried kernels from an ear of corn. The corn sheller can be either casted in aluminum or made from a sheet of metal.

  • Corn Sheller Background Notes (PDF)
  • Cast Corn Sheller Build-It (PDF - 1.2MB)
  • Sheet Metal Corn Sheller Build-It (PDF)
  • Sheet Metal Corn Sheller Do-It (PDF - 1.5MB)
  • Corn Sheller Jig Do-It (PDF)

Related Videos

Here are a few selections from the growing collection of online videos featuring D-Lab instructors, projects and students. 

Talks and seminars at MIT featuring D-Lab instructors (hosted by MIT World):

WGBH/NPR Forum Network. “The D-Lab at MIT: Engineering for and by the Developing World.” November 1, 2011.
This 56:15 video features interviews and lab demonstrations with Amy Smith and five other D-Lab staff members.

Amy Smith’s charcoal talk at TED2006, Monterey California. (This video is from TEDtalksDirector on YouTube and is not provided under our Creative Commons license.)

Amy Smith demonstrating how to make charcoal briquettes. (This video is from Akvofoundation on YouTube and is not provided under our Creative Commons license.)

Bish Sanyal on challenges of planning; challenges facing cities of the global south; the planning professional; Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS); and challenges within the IIHS curriculum framework. (This video is from iihsiihsindia on YouTube and is not provided under our Creative Commons license.)

Victor Grau Serrat on Indigenous Innovations at USAID conference, with demonstration of pedal-powered corn shelling. (This video is from USaidVideo on YouTube and is not provided under our Creative Commons license.)

Development Indicator Statistics Websites

Displays statistics as animated time-series graphs.

Displays statistics in modified world maps where the size of territories equates to the particular statistic of interest.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Projects with Examples
Activity Assignments
Written Assignments with Examples