Now that really is a spin cycle! University student invents washing machine that can be powered by pedalling
Last updated at 4:42 PM on 23rd June 2011
But student Richard Hewitt is hoping that to people in developing countries his pedal-powered washing machine will be a godsend.
The 21-year-old, who has just completed a degree in product design at Sheffield Hallam University, has come up with the 'Spincycle' a device which washes and dries clothes by using pedal power.
Handy invention: The Spincycle washes clothes via an attachment which is put on the back of a bicycle and filled with water and detergent.
The device is fitted to the back of a tricycle, which is loaded with clothes, detergent and water before being pedalled around for ten minutes.
It is then drained and filled with rinse water before another ten minute session of cycling completes the wash.
And the same method can also be used to spin dry the clothes once they are clean.
Laundry made simple: The machine can also be used to dry clean clothes once they have been washed using 'pedal power'
Richard hit upon the idea after a recent visit to Burundi in Africa, where he visited a children's orphanage.
'One of the tasks I did at the orphanage was to wash around 30 loads of childrens' clothes by hand,' he explained. 'It was extremely time consuming and I thought that ' there must be an easier way than this.'
'It set off a train of thought and I came up with the cycle idea. They use bikes alot out there so I came up with something that could become a micro-enterprise for people.
African visit: Richard, pictured, came up with the idea for the machine during a voluntary work stint at an orphanage in Burundi, central Africa.
'As well as saving a lot of time , energy and water, people might also be able to make a little bit of money this way.'
Richard added that the invention was still under development - and that he had considered several other ways of making it work efficiently.
'I looked at making it into a trailer for a bicycle but it made more sense to make it a complete unit,' he said.
'By removing the aesthetic aspects the design could easily be simplified and made cheaper.'
The design will be exhibited as part of Sheffield Hallam's 'CreativeSpark' exhibition.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2007289/On-bike-University-student-invents-washing-machine-powered-pedalling.html#ixzz1Q7hNzkQz