Making it easier to create and repair electronic devices using old components

A new interactive tool helps electronics designers find used components that can help them build or fix new devices.

Making it easier to create and repair electronic devices using old components
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OMG I LOVE THIS: Scientists at the University of Chicago have created an interactive electronics design tool called “ecoEDA” that helps users find old computer parts they can use when building or fixing electronic devices. 

The tool catalogues an inventory of components from different devices and when designers are looking for a specific part to add to something they’re building, it lets them know which devices – old phones, maybe a Roomba vacuum, a digital alarm clock, or a specific brand of tablet or laptop computer – include that part or components that can perform the same function.

I appreciated this part of the article:

“An especially interesting feature is ecoEDA’s ability to replace a single component with a subcircuit that performs the same function. For example, a level shifter chip could be replaced with some transistors and resistors. Not only can this feature eliminate some e-waste, but it could also be a lifesaver when a supply chain issue rears its ugly head.” 

Yesssssss to eliminating e-waste and protecting users from supply chain issues! 

Of course, a "component finder" tool like this is only as good as the quantity and quality of its database. In order to become useful over the long-term, ecoEDA will need to gain a large user base of people who are willing to tear down their devices, identify all the components, and add them to the library, which, as the article notes, takes a certain amount of skill and time.  

Geek squad, activate! This is your mission, should you choose to accept it and use your powers for good! 😁🤘

You can read the full article here.

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