At the age of just fourteen, Remya Jose created her first invention: a pedal-powered washing machine made from recycled bike parts that can make laundry easier for families without electricity. Jose is from Kizhattoor Panchayat in India, and she came up with the idea when she and her twin sister were tasked with the family’s household chores after their mother fell ill. Instead of washing clothes by hand in the river, Jose invented her own solution that saves time and effort.
Jose began by studying electric washing machines and learning how they
work, so that she could replicate the functionality in an entirely human
powered machine. Her father helped her find the parts she needed for
her design, and then took her sketch to a neighborhood auto shop, where
the workers helped construct the machine.
It worked even better than Jose had planned. The machine consists of an aluminum cabin with a wire cylinder inside, which holds the laundry. The cylinder is connected to a bike chain and pedal system. Laundry
is placed inside the machine, along with hot water and detergent, and
left to soak for ten minutes. Then, the user pedals to spin the laundry
and clean it. A small faucet on the cabin drains the soapy water, and
then the whole machine is refilled with clean water for a final rinse
cycle. All in all, it’s an elegant and simple solution for families
living in rural areas who might otherwise be without a washing machine.
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