04/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Bicilavadora: The Bike-Powered Laundry (VIDEO)

Our friend Alyssa Danigelis over at Discovery recently found this great video of a bike-powered washing machine. It makes so much sense! I suppose that, with a friend, you could get a lot of laundry going by having him or her do a bike-powered spin dry before putting clothes out to finish drying on a line.

The bicilavadora--which combines the Spanish words for bicycle and washing machine--started as an idea that won graduate student Radu Raduta first place in MIT's 2005 IDEAS competition. Fast forward to January, when D-Lab instructor Gwyndaf Jones led a team to Peruvian slums with a prototype of Raduta's concept.

LaundryBike In places without electricity, laundry is an extremely time-consuming process that can pollute waterways. The bicilavadora, easily constructed from locally-available parts, could help. It's essentially an oil drum, two pieces of plastic bolted together, and a bicycle frame. Changing gears takes it from washing to spin cycle.

What other everyday chores could be aided or replaced by bike power?