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Battery-Free Electronic Smart Toys: A Step toward the Commercialization of Sustainable Triboelectric Nanogenerators

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posted on 2018-04-04, 00:00 authored by Arunkumar Chandrasekhar, Gaurav Khandelwal, Nagamalleswara Rao Alluri, Venkateswaran Vivekananthan, Sang-Jae Kim
Next-generation toys are designed to entertain and interact with children. Such toys need a power source, generally a battery that must be replaced frequently, leading to increased maintenance costs. Recently, an innovative biomechanical energy harvester called a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) was introduced as an eco-friendly generator that scavenges waste energy. Here, in a step toward the commercialization of TENG devices, we present a novel approach that uses TENG technology to develop battery-free electronic smart toys. This robust, eco-friendly, and cost-effective approach for harnessing biomechanical energy can transform a traditional toy into a smart toy. With this innovative idea, we developed a smart clapping toy (SCT-TENG) and a smart duck toy (SDT-TENG) using biocompatible materials. We employed a simple inbuilt circuit with light-emitting diodes that are powered using biomechanical energy. The SCT-TENG and SDT-TENG exhibited output voltages of 65 Vp‑p and 260 Vp‑p, respectively. We believe that the use of TENG technology for battery-free electronic smart toys opens up new possibilities for the commercialization of TENGs and the field of battery-free smart toys.