Many people love bikes, but few think of them as equipment that can be transformed into energy provider for other useful machines, such as – washing machines.
A project team of Nationalities University, Dalian, China created a device called Bike Washing-machine, which does exactly that – it washes clothes, and it is operated solely by spinning pedals.
The bike, not surprisingly, looks like a cross between a bike and a washing machine. It is a bike with a “handle” in the front, which looks like a regular washing machine drum. When the pedal is operated, the drum spins and washes clothes like any other washing machine.
The invention may seem silly at first, but in fact it makes sense, especially for those who live in small apartments, where there is not enough space for both a bicycle and a washing machine. The bike can also be useful in isolated areas with no electricity.
Another interesting feature of the washing machine with an integrated bike is that it can be used to generate electricity, which then can be stored in a battery.
Besides space-saving, washing clothes and generating electricity, cycling also helps one burn calories and lose weight while doing other useful chores.
A prototype of the invention has been built, and the project idea has been sent to the website Tuvie.com. This website presents innovative design concepts and functions, and it serves as a bridge between the project and the investor/producer.
In the future, we will definitely see such devices that store the energy we generate during exercising, and then use the energy to produce electricity or to power other household appliances.
Although it is not clear whether the equipment can switch automatically from washing to rinse mode, it seems that designers can make this adjustment with a timer and a valve system.
An article in Daily Mail presents the washing machine-bicycle, and in a separate column it describes the project proposal of a South Korean designer who uses washing machines powered by the energy produced while a treadmill is in use.
These types of innovations are beginning to sound increasingly more practical if we consider that more and more efficient batteries are produced, which store energy for increasingly longer periods.
The new Powerwall batteries introduced by Elon Musk may revolutionize the way we produce and store energy. This technology will make life without electricity a more sustainable concept and there is no reason why human power should not be used in the same way that we currently use solar or wind energy.
Sure, you have to ride or to run for a very long time to generate the necessary amount of energy, but why not take advantage of the energy? After all, each of us needs to move to be healthy, and energy generated while we burn calories is virtually wasted – unless the exercise consists of chopping wood or digging in the garden.
In fact, similar devices powered by human energy give us the opportunity to adopt an independent lifestyle simply because offering the opportunity to use renewable energy resources and avoid pollution. These are both great advantages in a world where excessive resource consumption and dependence on fossil fuels has begun to threaten our very existence.