Pedal-Powered Washing Machine and Dryer – Innovative, Eco Friendly and Practical
September 13, 2012
Two design students have created an award-winning prototype for a pedal-powered washing machine that costs less than $40. It is an innovative yet simple equipment that is eco friendly and practical. It makes a tedious house chore fast and simple without using electricity. This goes to show that going green is not always expensive.
For developing countries where people lack access to electricity or simply does not have financial capability of buying an electric washing machines. Washing the laundry is done by hand and air-drying. This is not only a tedious and a time consuming task, it is also known to contribute to several health problems.
The GiraDora is an ergonomically designed, compact and inexpensive, foot-powered washing machine. With a bucket as base, it conceals a spinning mechanism that washes clothes and then partially dries them. Drastically reducing effort and time need wash and dry the laundry.
Design students Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You are students of the celebrated Design Matters program at Art Center College of Design. Their focus is on social innovation, and came up with the design as part of a project called Safe Agua Peru in Cerro Verde. Though pedal or foot-powered washing machines are not a new idea. The challenge is to make the design compact, inexpensive and help with issues related to electricity and water poverty for people who earn between $4 and $10 a day.
The GiraDora works simply with the user sitting on top of the bucket, to stabilize the contents. The laundry is then agitated by a foot pedal driving the mechonism inside, just like how an electric washing machine works. When washing is done, the greywater is drained and the clothes are spun again for drying using the same action.
Bases on a study in the slum of 30,000 residents located in a water-poor area outside of Lima, the students found that up to six hours per day and three to five times a week are used to wash clothes. This simple innovation could change the lives millions around the world.