Archive for November, 2009

Testing Binta’s track

Saturday, November 28th, 2009


The parking lot of our hotel served as a test location for Binta’s track.

In the meantime a wedding took place, and some guests were curious about the robot’s movements.

091128testing hotel

Festival of Sacrifice

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Today we visited Mr. Idiris on the main day of Babbar Sallah, the Festival of Sacrifice.
The day started with a prayer in the outdoor mosque.


Later the actual moment of sacrifice came, and our guide and interpreter Suleiman also assisted in the procedures.


Waiting day in Abuja

Friday, November 27th, 2009

We spent today changing money, finding a new hotel, shopping, swimming, playing tennis, cooking dinner for Ronald and Michael, and watching our first video materials and getting them in order.

In the meantime the GPS collar was drying. The display now reacted to the on and off button, so the drying had had some effect. Filled with hope I connected the collar to the computer, but I got the same disappointing message again. That night I could not sleep. On Monday we had planned a workshop with Mr. Idiris. What was to be done if it did not work before then?  The workshop on rainy season transhumance was one of the core objectives of our trip!

Second attempt to download the GPS collar data

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

After some phone calls with the manufacturer “Followit” in Sweden, they advised us to separate the collar from the battery, and leave both components in a warm spot to dry. Since the display notification was still on, it was likely that the data in the collar was safe… But it would have been to time-consuming to send the collar to Sweden, to have it downloaded in the factory. So we had to try to get the data out here. After using some force, we managed to separate the two and leave them to dry.


At least I could do now something and hope!


First attempt to download the GPS collar data

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

After our return to Abuja, the  first thing I tried was to download the data from the GPS collar. In the field I already noticed that the USB socket had been exposed to moisture and dirt, and I realized now that this was due to (inexplicable) disappearance of the cover plate. It looked kind of scary, but the display on the collar still showed a light, so at least something was working still.

Unfortunately the downloading of data did not work.