14-year-old Indian schoolgirl invents a pedal-powered washing machine for those with no electricity

Written by on August 20, 2023

The inventor of the off-grid washing machine-cum-exercise-bike made from recycled cycle parts even won a National Award for her design.

Off-grid washing machine offers hope to so many without access to electricity

Meet Remya Jose, from Kerala, India. Nowย 23 years old, Remya is a gifted innovator with a number of ingenious inventions to her credit. The washing-cum-exercise bike that she developed when she was just 14 years old received a National Innovation Award from former Indian President Abdul Kalam.

Amazing off-grid appliance invented by schoolgirl is made from bits of old bike

Not many of us in the West can imagine what it is like to do laundry for an entire family, by hand, every single day. Fourteen-year-old Remya Jose had no choice. Despite a total of four hours daily travel to get to and from school, she and her twin sister were responsible for the task from the moment their mother fell ill, while their father was already undergoing treatment to battle cancer.

The task isnโ€™t easy, particularly if you are using cold river water, and this was when Remya decidedย 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 drum by a standard bike chain.

The design was then constructed by a local auto-repair shop from old bicycle components. The washing machine can handle a load of laundry in around 30 minutes, of which only 4-5 mins are required for actual pedalling at the beginning, and a further 4-5 minutes at the end of the cycle to rinse. 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.

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