In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.
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Assuming you're not getting through the day with a bounty of fuel cell-powered gadgets, you've probably been in a situation where you needed power and it was nowhere to be found. The PowerPot isn't the most practical solution for every scenario, but it's likely to come in handy at least once. The power-generating pot uses thermoelectric modules to convert temperature differences into a 5-, 10- or 15-watt regulated power stream, sufficient for juicing up USB devices like smartphones, GPS devices and LED lamps. The most traditional method for creating this temperature difference is to put a pot of cold water over an open flame, but the device is adaptable to other configurations -- a pot of snow on a thermal spring, for example. Assuming you've taken the fire approach, you can also use the pot to boil water or cook food as you charge your gadgets.

The inventor has created a functional prototype that features fire-proof components and looks quite polished, but now the team is turning to Kickstarter to advance the project to production. Your pledge could net you any of a variety of PowerPots, ranging from a 5-watt portable V flavor for $125 to the 15-watt XV for $500. You can also pre-order a 10-watt PowerPot X for $199. If you're feeling generous, there's also an option to donate a PowerPot to folks in developing nations who may not have the cash to spare, but are in need of a cost-effective solution for power generation. Jump past the break to see the PowerPot V in action, and hit up the source link to scroll through the available configs before making your pledge.

Previous project update: Our previous Insert Coin project, the Soundlazer speaker, has exceeded its funded goal of $48,000 with just shy of six weeks left in the funding period. There's still time to join in on the fun, however, so head on over to make your pledge before May 19th to pre-order a complete Soundlazer kit for $175.

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Insert Coin: The PowerPot portable electric generator (video)