It may seem off the beaten path, but new inventions incorporating bicycle technology are all the rage lately when it comes to saving electricity and encouraging a more active lifestyle.
Inventors and thinkers have developed numerous ways to capitalize on the accessible, energy-efficient nature of bicycle tech in order to transform daily chores – in this case, doing laundry.
Encouraging Regular Exercise
“Riding a bike a popular exercise, washing laundry is something that you might do on (a) daily basis or at least once a week, unless you keep buying new clothes and underwear, so why not combine them into a single useful equipment/appliance?” say the designers of the Bike Washing Machine, a stationary bike with a build-in washing machine device that is powered by cycling(1).
The designers stress that the device is perfect for individuals who may not have room for both a washing machine and a stationary bicycle in their apartment – apartment dwellers, for example. It can also help individuals save on electricity bills.
A New Twist On An Old Concept
The idea of a bicycle-powered washing machine isn’t new – in 2011, a design student announced that he had invented a cycling-powered washing machine which could be mounted on the back of a regular bicycle – but no previous prototype has ever successfully made it to market.
The challenge for the inventors of the Bike Washing Machine will be getting the invention past the prototype phase and into production.
With a simple, streamlined design, the students who created the bike are hoping it’s efficient enough to be a viable product.
“When you ride this bike, the pedalling motion causes the drum of the washing machine to rotate; at the same time, superfluous electricity is generated which can be used to power the display screen or be stored for future use,” they explain(2).
Long-Term Benefits Of Cycling
A study in the Journal of Diabetes and Science Technology looking at the effects of exercise using stationary bicycles – sometimes referred to as “spinning” – on individuals with diabetes found that the exercise regime had positive neuropsychological effects, improving cognitive function and helping with diabetes management(3).
Other studies have found that using bicycles – stationary or not – for exercise has positive long-term effects on multiple conditions, most notably including congestive heart failure(4).
Of course, getting regular exercise is a great idea even if you don’t have a chronic illness.
Contemporary Solutions To Contemporary Problems
While it may seem like little more than a novelty, a bicycle-powered washing machine is only one of the many ways people are striving to reduce energy consumption and promote a healthier lifestyle at the same time.
These new inventions, which rely on the human body to generate power, also present new implications for “off-the-grid” living.
Although it’s not practical for powering any operation much larger than a washing machine, the idea of harnessing “people power” is gaining traction along with other alternative forms of energy, such as solar power.