A graduate product designer has combined a washing machine and a bicycle into a single product, which he believes will create a unique way of washing clothes in developing countries.
Sheffield Hallam graduate Richard Hewitt says he was inspired to develop the Spin Cycle design after visiting an orphanage in central African country Burundi.
He says, ‘One of the tasks I did at the orphanage was to wash around 30 loads of children’s clothes by hand. This was extremely time-consuming and I thought, ‘There must be an easier way than this”, and it set off a train of thought that led me to this idea.’
The Spin Cycle is fitted to the back of a tricycle, where it is loaded with dirty clothes, detergent and water, before being pedalled for ten minutes. It is then drained, and rinse water is added to the unit before another ten minute session completes the wash. The Spin Cycle can also be used as a bike-powered tumble dryer.
Hewitt says, ‘They use bikes a lot [in Burundi] so I came up with the idea that it could become a micro-enterprise for people. As well as saving a lot of time, energy and water, people might also be able to make a little bit of money.’
Hewitt says the product is currently in the development stage but ‘in terms of a workable product it’s almost there’.