14-Year-Old Invents Pedal-Powered Washing Machine


Meet Remya Jose. She is the inventor of the washing-cum-exercise machine that won her a National Award. When Remya Jose was 14 years old, her mother became ill while her father underwent cancer treatments. Going to school was a two-hour commute each way, and the family didn’t own a washing machine, which made the process of cleaning clothes long and tiresome for her twin sister. Jose, now 16, decided the best way to help her family was to create her own washing machine that wouldn’t need electricity.

After drawing out the basic diagram, Jose’s father took it to a local mechanic shop, where workers agreed to put the machine together. After purchasing the materials, Jose gave the mechanics instructions of exactly how she wanted it done.

The end product has an aluminum cabin with a horizontal iron net wire cylinder. This cylinder connects to the pedal system, which looks like any other with a chain, pedals and a seat. Clothes go into the cylinder, the cabin fills with enough water to level the clothes and the washing cycle begins, soaking the laundry for at least 10 minutes. The user pedals for three to four minutes while the cylinder rotates to clean the laundry. Through the pedaling action the laundry is centrifuged, which means they dry about 80 percent.

Jose’s invention could serve rural India with a means of cleaning laundry without the use of electricity, which can often be scarce in certain areas. This washing machine becomes especially useful when there is a break in supply and residents are left without power for hours days. The invention is also cost effective — approximately Rs.2000, which is about $33 USD. Thanks to it’s portability, it can be shared among an entire community.