After six months of operation, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) “XO” laptop has logged its first major success story: Peru. Kids love ‘em, administrators love ‘em, parents love ‘em and Nicholas Negroponte is ecstatic. Loaded with approximately 100 copyright-free books (are you listening Amazon.com?), the XO has become exactly the empowering tool that Negroponte predicted. This success story is not without its minor hiccups, however. Although targeted for 9,000 Peruvian elementary, only about 4,000 of these schools have Internet access. Nonetheless, OLPC is working with Peru to surmount this obstacle.—Dave Prochnow
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.