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article imageMIT students develop bicycle-powered washing machine

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By Chris V. Thangham     Feb 21, 2009 in Environment
MIT students want to help the poor and third world countries with their bicycle-powered washing machines made out of 100 percent recycled materials.
A team of students from MIT has developed “Bicilavadora”, a new pedal-powered washing machine that operates with minimum power.
The washing machine is basically an oil drum trimmed to manageable size. It also has parts of an old bicycle and pieces of plastic joined together inside to provide the beating and rotating power inside the machine.
This machine is ideal where there is no electricity. In developing countries most of the people wash the cloths by hands only, so this will be an added benefit for them to do it quickly within minutes. There is no dryer along with the machine, but most of them dry their cloths in outside sun.
The “Bicilavadora” works as follows and a demo is shown in the video:
The inner drum, which the team states as one of the most critical parts of the design, is made from a set of identical plastic pieces together. The system is then connected to an old bicycle sans its wheels. The chain is connected to a gear mechanism harnessed from an old geared mountain bike. The highest gear is used for the spin cycle and the lowest gear for the wash cycle.
The word "Bicilavadora" I think it is a combination of Spanish words Bicicleta (bicycle) and
Lavadora (washing machine).
The MIT students are still tinkering with the machine; hopefully they will make them available for the masses very soon.
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