In developing countries that lack electricity or the funds to buy expensive machines, taking care of laundry the old-fashioned way requires an enormous amount of time and effort. That’s why Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You created the GiraDora – a combination washer and spin-dryer that is powered by a foot pedal. At only $40, this ingenious contraption is an inexpensive way to help break the cycle of poverty in many disadvantaged communities.
Designed specifically for those with the least income living in the poorest nations, the GiraDora hopes to ease the burden of washing clothes – a chore that can take nearly 6 hours a day, 3-5 days a week. The portable plastic tub can be filled with soap and water before a lid is placed on top, acting as a seat. Then, all the user needs to do is rest on the washer, and pump the spring-loaded foot pedal.
This ergonomic design alleviates back pain and chronic wrist strain from scrubbing and wringing clothes and leaves the hands free for other tasks. Loads of clothing can also be washed at one time instead of having to scrub individual articles, which uses less water and overall effort. In addition to avoiding health problems associated with physical stress and mold growing on wet fabric, the GiraDora can also help generate income through providing laundry services, rentals, and direct sales.
The GiraDora is currently being field-tested in Peru, and there are plans to introduce it more widely into South America and India. The project has been recognized by both the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, and the International Design Excellence Awards.