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Now everyone can build battery-free electronic devices

Credit: Northwestern University

Last year, computer engineers from Northwestern University and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) introduced the world's first battery-free Game Boy, which harvests both solar energy and the user's kinetic energy from button mashing to power an unlimited lifetime of game play.

The same team now introduces a new platform that enables makers, hobbyists and novice programmers to build their own battery-free electronic devices that run with intermittent, harvested energy.

Called BFree, the system includes energy-harvesting hardware (the BFree Shield) and a power-failure-resistant version of Python, one of the most accessible and most used programming languages. All the user needs is a basic understanding of Python in order to quickly and easily turn any do-it-yourself (DIY) smart device into a battery-free version. With this technology, novice programmers can now turn their DIY battery-powered motion sensor, for example, into a solar-powered sensor with an infinite lifetime ...

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