Indian teenager designs innovative human-powered washing machine from defunct bike parts

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Hailing from India, Remya Jose was just another 14-year-old, when she fashioned an innovative pedal-driven washing machine out of recycled bicycle parts. Intended for families living without access to electricity, the concept was originally conceived when Jose and her twin sister were required to do household chores after their mother’s health deteriorated.

Jose is a resident of Kizhattoor Panchayat, where people usually wash clothes by hand in nearby ponds or rivers. This ingenious contraption, according to Jose, not only saves effort, but also valuable time. To construct the device, she first examined the inner workings of an electric washing machine, using her scientific acumen to replicate the mechanism in a human-powered system.

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Once the final design was in place, Jose and her father went about the task of finding the different parts and components. Following that, she enlisted the help of a neighborhood auto mechanic, who in turn built the machine using the chosen parts. As pointed out by the inventor, the zero-electricity washing machine actually works much better than she initially expected.

Featuring a rectangular aluminum chamber, the machine consists of a specially-crafted wire cylinder that is designed to hold the laundry. The cylindrical mesh is attached to a bicycle chain as well as pedals. According to Jose, the soiled clothes need to be placed inside the aluminum cabin, along with generous amounts of detergent and hot water.

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After the laundry has been soaking for around ten minutes, the user will have to rotate the cylinder with the help of the pedals. The spinning motion in turn cleans the clothes of dirt and dust. The aluminum chamber is equipped with a tiny faucet that allows the dirty, soapy water to flow out. Before the next rinse cycle can begin, however, the machine has to be filled once again with clean, hot water.

In addition to being simple and convenient, the contraption makes the chore of doing laundry a lot easier for people living in rural areas. For her brilliant invention, Jose received a coveted national award from late President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. When she was 18, Jose applied for a patent for the human-powered washing machine.

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The 20-something-year-old is currently working as a senior innovator at India’s National Innovation Foundation (NIF), where she spends her time coming up with new technologies that could help make the lives of poor people better and more comfortable.

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Via: Better India

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