Google Announces $1 Million Engineering Challenge

The task: Build a laptop-size power inverter.

Google has $1 million with your name on it: All you have to do is prove you’re nothing short of an engineering god.

Partnering with the IEEE, Google is looking for anyone who can take a power inverter—which is described on Google’s blog as "a picnic cooler-sized device used to convert the energy that comes from solar, electric vehicles & wind (DC power) into something you can use in your home (AC power)"—and shrink it down to about 1/10th its size, or roughly the size of a laptop.

It's a tall order, but an important one. As Google states in its blog, "A smaller inverter could help create low-cost microgrids in remote parts of the world. Or allow you to keep the lights on during a blackout via your electric car’s battery. Or enable advances we haven’t even thought of yet." Basically, you’d reshape the future of electricity.

Learn more about the Little Box Challenge here.

[Image: Flickr user Evan Blaser]

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