Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }


Villagers in remote parts of India will soon be surfing the Web, thanks to a new Internet-on-wheels device. Built by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India, in collaboration with MIT’s Media Lab Asia, Infothela consists of a covered tricycle with a steel platform that carries a computer linked to the Internet by a wireless antenna. A 12-volt battery tucked below the platform powers the computer: as the Infothela operator rides from village to village, offering Internet access at each stop, a pedal generator recharges the battery. Should the rider tire, the battery can be charged with electricity from an outlet or a diesel generator. The Indian researchers are working on ways to translate Internet content into local languages, and they are developing audio- and video-based software that would make the Net accessible to people who can’t read. Prashant Kumar, head of the project’s mechanical-design team, expects Infothela to begin its village-hopping voyage within the next three to five months.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Communications

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me