Most teens are worrying about prom and making new friends, these five spent all of their free time inventing things, such as a super fast gadget charger, self-driving care, and lots more. We’ve rounded up five amazing inventions created by geeky kids and teens from around the world.
5. Banana Bioplastic
Sixteen-year-old Turkish student-scientist Elif Bilgin, from Istanbul, spent the last two years experimenting with ways to produce a bioplastic out of used banana peels. Thankfully, all her hard work paid off. She is the winner of the 2013 $50,000 Science in Action award from the Google Science Fair. Elif says that the banana bioplastic could be used for the electrical insulation of cables.
4. Self-Driving Car
Ionut Budisteanu may look like your normal 19-year-old teen from Istanbul, but unlike the others, he developed a low-cost self-driving car. His autonomous system utilizes webcams to identify objects in its path, paired with a low-resolution 3D radar to find larger items. Best of all, this camera setup only costs $4,000, rather than Google’s $75,000 system.
3. Super Fast Gadget Charger
A miniature device that can recharge your phone in just 30-seconds won 18-year-old Eesha Khare a major science award that will help fund her college education at Harvard University. She traveled from her California home to Phoenix earlier this year for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where her invention was honored as one of two winners of Young Scientist Awards.
2. Thermoelectric Flashlight
Fifteen-year-old Ann Makosinski from Canada designed and built a thermoelectric flashlight that transforms the heat from your hand into a source of energy. In order for the flashlight to be powered by body energy, Ann used Peltier tiles — a device that produces energy when one side is heated and another side is cooled. Apparently, the light can last for about 20 minutes.
1. R5800 Solar Death Ray
Geeky student Eric Jacqmain created this solar death ray using a normal satellite dish and 5,800 small mirrors. It took only 24-hours to built from start to finish, and purportedly has the intensity of 5,000 suns. Jacqmain says: “I drilled a small hole in the dish and glued a piece of PVC pipe on the back. Light shines through the hole and hits the translucent plastic on the end of the pipe. All I had to do was aim the dish once and mark the spot.”