This is especially the case in poor areas of the world, where often simple practical solutions go a lot further than any modern technology. And this is exactly what Remya Jose demonstrated when she was only 14 years old. She converted an old stationary bike into a washing machine, which runs on the power, generated by the two pedals. The invention was not only brilliant and fully functioning without any need of grid electricity, but it also had a much higher purpose- saved the family from going through the heavy burden of hand-washing their clothes every single day.
Teen inventions always amaze me. Over the years, boys and girls, who have not yet even finished highschool have made it all (see top 10 inventions)- from fully functioning fission and fusion reactors, through bioplastics, all the way to ocean clean-up arrays. What is more, it does not always have to be a super advance technology to create an impression. Sometimes, the high societal impact is a lot stronger than the invention being super high-tech. And the story of Remya Jose is one that proves that.
Not many of us can imagine what it is to do laundry for an entire family by hand every single day. And while we try to imagine, Remya had no choice but to do it. Her twin sister and she were responsible for the task from the moment their mother got sick, while their father was already fighting cancer. The job is not easy, especially if you have to use cold river water, and this is when Jose had to come up with an alternative solution. After studying what an electric washing machine could do, she was able to design a mechanical one, which uses a pedal system, connected to an aluminium cabin by a standard bike chain. The design was then constructed by a local auto-repairing shop.
The washing machine can handle the laundry in a space of about half an hour, out of which only 4-5 mins are required for pedaling at the start, and just as long at the end of the cycle. The rest of the time goes to soaking the clothes in soapy water. The dirty water is drained out through a faucet, leaving space for new clean water to go in before the last spin. Here is a video with a small demonstration.
The girls are now 16 years old, which means that it took 2 years before their invention made it to the news. I only wander what else is out there that we are still to see.
Image (c) ESP