Teen invents battery-free flashlight
Tom Spendlove posted on May 30, 2014 |
Ann Makosinski is a teenager from British Columbia with big ideas and a great new flashlight.

Ann Makosinski traveled often to the Philippines and saw conditions that were less ideal than her home in British Columbia. Some of her friends had failed entire grades in school because they had no electricity and no light to study at night. Her solution was the Hollow Flashlight, a flashlight that uses peltier tiles to create light.

This video is from the Google Science Fair, but Ann has also presented her inventions and philosophies at TEDx Renfrew Collingwood and TEDx Redmond. She won the 2013 Google Science Fair in the 15-16 year old category.


Using the temperature delta between the palm of the hand and the ambient air inside a hollow aluminum tube, Makosinki developed the Hollow Flashlight for areas with little or no electricity. The flashlight powers three LEDs and the tiles can produce up to 5.4 milliWatts and 5 foot-candles of brightness.

Ann had a list of requirements for the light. She wanted something that would work regardless of the weather conditions. She wanted a technology that would work in the quiet dark environment of a house in the middle of the Philippines with no electricity. Her grade 7 science fair project used peltier tiles, and she realized the devices would meet all of her criteria.

Long term Ann would like her flashlight to be available in emergency preparedness kits, and also be used on a massive scale in developing countries. Longer term Ann wants to help eliminate non-recyclable batteries and make power generation cleaner and greener.

The hollow flashlight is an incredible invention and Ann Makosinski is an amazing inventor. Her story is inspiring and her presentations are entertaining and full of information. She is able to distill her design and development process into a short series of vignettes that tell the story of a great new application.


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