B.C. teen's phone-charging mug nets $50,000 prize, 'Tonight Show' appearance

A British Columbia teen's novel invention has earned her $50,000, an appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon and a fully-charged phone.

See Full Article

Ann Makosinski, 18, is a first-year student in UBC's Arts One program, and the brains behind the "eDrink mug."

The innovative device harnesses the heat from warm beverages and converts it into enough electricity to charge a cell phone or iPod.

Makosinski says she got the idea for the eDrink mug when she noticed two common problems her friends were experiencing.

"The first (problem) was that their phones were always running out of battery way too quickly, and the second was that their coffee was taking too long to cool down before they could finally fix it," the teen told CTV's Canada AM on Tuesday. "So I decided to combine both of those issues and create the eDrink."

Makosinski's eDrink prototype looks like a regular stainless steel mug, but inside the base are plates called Peltier tiles.

When the mug is filled with a hot beverage, the drink heats one side of the tiles while the tabletop and metal base cool the other side, producing electricity, Makosinski explained.

The useful invention caught the eye of talk show host Jimmy Fallon, who invited Makosinski onto his show in October. It also earned Makosinski a $50,000 Quest Climate Change Grant.

And the eDrink isn't the teen's first creation.

She also earned recognition for her "hollow flashlight," which uses Peltier tiles to harvest heat from the user's hand in order to light a bulb.

That invention netted her $25,000 from the Google Science Fair in 2013.

Makosinski says she still has work to do before she perfects her eDrink mug, but she doesn't plan to stop dreaming up new inventions any time soon.

"I've always just been tinkering and making things since I was a kid," Makosinski said. "I define myself as a creative person and inventor."



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Mark Zuckerberg says he's not running for public office

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEWPORT, R.I. -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his quest this year to visit every state he hadn't before is about building relationships, not politics. The 33-year-old billionaire wrote in a Facebook post that some users have asked if the trip means he's running for public office. Source
  • Thriving bobcats becoming backyard pests in urban areas

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CONCORD, N.H. -- As someone who has studied bobcats for almost four decades, wildlife ecologist John Litvaitis remembers many times returning from the field without spotting a single one of these solitary and shy creatures that often hunt at dusk. Source
  • NASA orders up urgent spacewalking repairs at space station

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA has ordered up urgent spacewalking repairs at the International Space Station. On Tuesday, two astronauts will venture out to replace a data relay box that broke over the weekend. Source
  • Ruins of 5,000-year-old city Mohenjo Daro at risk in Pakistan

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The centre of a powerful ancient civilisation, Mohenjo Daro was one of the world's earliest cities -- a Bronze Age metropolis boasting flush toilets and a water and waste system to rival many in modern Pakistan. Source
  • Swiss vote to ditch nuclear power for renewable energy

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BERLIN - Swiss voters are supporting a referendum to withdraw the country from nuclear power in favour of renewable energy. A projection from Sunday's referendum shows a majority of cantons (states) voted for the plan. Source
  • New Zealand space launch has nation reaching for the stars

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- New Zealand has never had a space program but could soon be launching commercial rockets more often than the United States. That's if the plans of California-based company Rocket Lab work out. Source
  • Full circle: Mark Zuckerberg shares moment he was accepted into Harvard

    Tech & Science CTV News
    It’s been years since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard, but as news surfaces that he’ll soon be receiving an honorary degree from the Ivy league school, the Facebook founder has shared a video of the moment he learned he got into the prestigious school. Source
  • After 10-year gap, Thai lotuses bloom again

    Tech & Science CTV News
    For the first time in a decade a Thai lake has given up its dazzling secret -- the pink blooms of tens of thousands of lotuses. The sea of colour in Khao Sam Roi Yot national park, three hours south of Bangkok, is a show-stopping feat of nature that has locals hoping for a tourist bonanza. Source
  • Google plans to 'fix' Toronto by building smart city

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Google has its sights set on piloting its vision for the smart city of the future in Canada's largest urban centre. But its reasons for picking Toronto are not necessarily the ones we might first assume. Source
  • Washington state loses fight, might pay up to $2B to save salmon

    Tech & Science CTV News
    SEATTLE -- Washington state lost a major legal battle Friday, which could force it spend nearly $2 billion to restore salmon habitat by removing barriers that block fish migration. A panel of the 9th U.S. Source