The world is presently facing two major threats – energy and water. Although both these resources currently appear to be in abundant, barring the fact that they are getting expensive with every passing day, the fact remains that both these resources are nearing depletion. Energy, which is largely produced by coal-fired power plants, and clean water, which isn’t as abundant on our planet, are both putting our environment and lifestyle at risk. One way you use both of them together is during your laundry cycles.
Currently available washing machines are made to do just one thing – wash your clothes in the best possible manner, while compromising on energy and water consumption. Industrial designers, who are usually among the first to address such concerns, have come up with a range of washing machines that are designed to change the entire concept of doing laundry, by making it a lot energy efficient and greener. Here are some of the most innovative washing machine concepts that try to make the world a better place to live in:
1) The HULA Washer:
The brainchild of industrial and product designer Sang-Soon Lee, the HULA Washer not only aims to cut on water and energy consumption, but also helps the one doing the laundry remain in shape. As the name suggests, the washing appliance concept is designed in the form of a Hula Hoop, which the wearer swings on the waist to tumble wash the clothes inside. Although an ingenious concept, the space inside the washer that can be used to stuff clothes is limited and we have no idea how much will a full load of laundry weigh on your waist.
2) Orbit Concept Washing machine:
Designed not only to save water and electricity, but also detergents and reduce noise, the Orbit concept washing machine is definitely too far into the future. The design incorporates a spherical drum, which goes inside a specially designed magnetic ring. The ring creates an induction effect causing drum to rotate inside the ring and hence doing what the electric motor does inside your normal washing machine. Innovation doesn’t just end here as instead of normal detergents the washer sprays a tiny jet of liquid nitrogen at supersonic speeds, thereby cleaning your clothes with minimum damage. Once the cycle is completed, the washer collects the expelled CO2 and converts it into a solid substance for storage.
3) Bike Washing Machine:
Working on the same lines as the HULA washer that we’ve discussed previously, the Bike Washing Machine is a completely zero-energy concept designed to wash your clothes while giving you a decent workout. The concept takes the form of an exercise bike, where the front wheel is replaced with a washing drum. The pedaling motion that helps you burn your calories also rotates the drum, thereby washing clothes inside the drum.
4) The Cactus Washing Machine Concept:
Designed to reduce consumption of water, just like the cactus plant, the Cactus Washing Machine concept saves every drop of water, while using no electricity in the entire washing cycle. The concept, just like the Orbit washing machine, makes use of magnetic energy and the principles of induction to wash clothes. As an added benefit, the washing machine recycles and stores water after every washing cycle.
5) The Wheel Washing Machine Concept:
There seems to be a craze among industrial designers to use washing machines as an exercise gadget and help keep the laundry-doer fit. The same is the came with the Wheel Washing Machine Concept, which is like a gigantic hamster wheel mounted on a treadmill. Designed by Si Hyeong Ryu, the Wheel concept has enough space in its hamster wheel section and all the user has to do to wash clothes is to run on the wheel, just like a hamster.