Aaron Stathum and Eliot Covena, two industrial design students from Philadelphia University, have designed and constructed the Up-Stream – a prototype low-cost washing machine for the developing world that if mass produced will cost as less as $4! The dynamic duo created the machine for areas of the world where access to clean water and electricity are limited.

up-stream, up-stream washing machine, recycled materials, aaron stathum, eliot covena, design students, prototype, washing machine

Stathum and Coven came up with the concept after brainstorming several ideas, and the end result is genius in its simplicity. What’s great about the Up-Stream is that it’s made from readily available recycled materials and is completely human-powered, so those using it don’t need to rely on electricity.

All that’s required is a 5-gallon bucket, a plastic fiber rope, old water pipes, and a neoprene cover. The human-powered machine is then easily assembled with the neoprene cover acting as a stain remover. The user then simply fills the bucket with clothes, detergent and a little water before closing the cover of the bucket. Two loops of the plastic rope are then strapped onto their feet which they move up and down to rotate the bucket. Users can also remove tough stains by rubbing the clothes on the neoprene sleeve.

Once the wash cycle is finished, the user simply rewinds the rope and pulls it with such force that the bucket revolves at an incredibly fast rate, expelling all waster from the clothes. The clothes can then be hung out on a standard clothesline to dry. Because of the simplicity of the design and materials, the design students believe that a fully marketable version of the product could cost as less as $4. What’s even better is that it is so easy to assemble and repair that it could transform the lives of communities that don’t have access to regular electricity.

+ Aaron Stathum/Eliot Coven

via EcoChunk

Images: Aaron Stathum/Eliot Coven