Spin cycle

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.

The Spin Cylce
The Spin Cycle

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.

The Spin Cycle side-on
The Spin Cycle side-on

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’.

Hide Comments (6)Show Comments (6)
  • Roland Guilford November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    What a great idea!…Inspired! Hope you get the financial backing to get this cycle on the road!

  • Jason Hunt November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Agreed Roland. Great idea – wonder if it would be suitable for crowd-funding via http://www.kickstarter.com/ or similar? Best of luck with this.

  • joe bloggs November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    kudos for developing this.

    However, I would rather see it sold to “developed world” markets if complexity of product means that fatigued/broken parts prevent “developing world” users from getting the most out of it.

    Does this formula sound familier to anyone with NGO experience: kit comes in, kit breaks, parts don’t come in, kit gets broken down for usable components?

    Any water saving and power saving efficiencies are surely to be applauded, and I wish you all the best with this project.

  • Steven Hipwell November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    inspiring idea – hope it goes well

  • Dave November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Really… Cycling for 20 minutes pulling a tank of water (whats the capacity?) and a washing load. It sounds more suitable for Mark Cavendish than a malnourished Burundian.

  • Tchad Western November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Great idea, have a look at Key Fund Yorkshire for funding.


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