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Putting a foot down to get laundry done in developing world

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Those who have never known the trials associated with having to hand wash laundry may simply scoff at this clever design by Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You, but for those forced to spend up to six hours a day just washing clothes, this simple solution could be a godsend for both their backs and their futures.

GiraDora is a blue bucket that conceals a spinning mechanism that washes clothes and then partially dries them. It’s operated by a foot pedal, while the user sits on the lid to stabilize the rapidly churning contents. Sitting alleviates lower-back pain associated with hand-washing clothes, and frees up the washer to pursue other tasks. It’s portable, so it can be placed nearby a water source, or even inside on a rainy day. It reduces health risks like joint problems, skin irritation, and mold inhalation. Most importantly, it uses far less water and cleans clothes faster than conventional hand-washing.

The duo were inspired by a visit to a Lima slum where, for two weeks, students in the Safe Agua Peru studio observed the inhabitants’ lives to see how technology and design could improve their situation. Cabunoc and You experimented with a number of designs and studied other human-powered machines before coming up with the GiraDora, and after much effort, have secured a NCIIA E-Team grant to create a pilot program.

Full story at Fast Company via Neatorama.

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