This 13 year old designed a device that uses traffic to generate clean energy | GBRI

13-year-old Laalitya Acharya from Ohio has designed a device named TraffEnerate that generates clean power from vehicular traffic. The genius girl is a finalist in the 2017 Young Scientist Challenge, and stands to win $25,000.

Acharya explains that she used ‘piezo sensors’ in her prototype. Piezo is a device that generates electricity when stress is applied to it. TraffEnerate incorporates 11 piezo sensors and a 3D-printed block, so stress will be applied to all 11 piezos even if a car just barely passes over the corner of the prototype.

Acharya said on the challenge website, “I wanted to change the world, that simple. On my family’s yearly trip to India, I saw children who have no power in their homes, huddling near dangerous fires. I wanted to change their position in life, to make it better by creating clean energy and electricity.”

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