About Our Project

Welcome to the BCA MIT Lemelson InvenTeam Blog
The BCA Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam strives to invent a kit that will allow end users to harvest parts from e-waste and build small energy generating devices to charge cell phones. The kit will include simple-to-use tools and instructions.
 

Who is our target end user?


Our end users are in parts of the world where the electrical infrastructure is unreliable or nonexistent.
 
Globally, as many as two billion people today still do not have access to electricity.
 
India:
Anil K. Rajvanshi, Director of Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute
  • India has one of the highest populations yet it is suffering a serious electricity shortage
  • 63% of rural Indian households still do not have access to electricity
  • Rural households often experience as many as 10-15 blackouts or brownouts daily
Africa:
lightingafrica.org
  • Rural Africans spend 54% of their salary for kerosene lighting alone
  • Africa is one-sixth of the world population but only produces 4% of the electricity
  • One third of on-grid households experience frequent blackouts due to electricity scarcity

For the purpose of our initial project, we plan to focus on a rural group in Uganda.

What is e-waste?


"Electronic waste (e-waste) now makes up five percent of all municipal solid waste worldwide, nearly the same amount as all plastic packaging, but it is much more hazardous. Not only developed countries generate e-waste; Asia discards an estimated 12 million tons each year.

E-waste is now the fastest growing component of the municipal solid waste stream because people are upgrading their mobile phones, computers, televisions, audio equipment and printers more frequently than ever before. Mobile phones and computers are causing the biggest problem because they are replaced most often." - Greenpeace

Problems with E-Waste:
 
In only eight years years, the average lifespan of a computer has dropped by two thirds. The volume of e-waste is rapidly growing and becoming a significant environmental concern; so why not make use of it?
 
Our kit will allow end users to transform commonly available and cheap e-waste into electricity so that they can power cell phones and lightbulbs.

How can I check out progress?


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You can view our Tasks and Actions, Project Documents, and Progress Timeline. You can also feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to help.