What it does
Off-grid foot powered washing machine.
While living in an apartment, industrial designer and YiREGO founder Yi Jiang found a problem with the laundry process. In urban areas, most people do not have access to private laundry facilities. Public laundry facilities are costly and unhygienic and not always nearby. Because of the inconvenience of these facilities, many urban-dwellers procrastinate their laundry for as long as possible, often buying new articles of clothing instead of doing laundry. Those who do have access to private laundry, spend unnecessary amounts of money on hydro bills because of their washing machines; each load of laundry costing approximately $1.00 in hydro and water. Regular-sized washing machines use approximately 500 watts of power and 50 liters of water per load. Jiang found an opportunity to improve this.
How it works
At YiREGO, we aim to create sustainable solutions through unconventional designs. Standing at only 15" wide, 22" tall and weighing under 15 pounds, our first product Drumi allows anyone to have their own private sustainable laundry machine. Personal items are added into the drum, and 5 liters of water is added. The lid of the drum is closed, which also serves as a detergent tray. The detergent is added, and the clear top lid is closed. Then, the foot pedal is pressed consistently for about 2 minutes and the soapy water is removed by pressing a button located in the back. Then a rinse cycle is done, with another 5 liters for 2 minutes. A spin cycle is then done for a minute, and the clothes are hung to dry. Because of its small size and light weight, the Drumi can be easily stored and maneuvered. On average, a regular sized washing machine will create approximately 10 pounds of carbon per week. Since the Drumi reduces the use of regular-sized washing machines, it reduces the user's carbon footprint by approximately 5 pounds weekly.
Jiang began development in 2012 for his industrial design thesis project at Ontario College of Art and Design University. Originally, he had planned to make a compact laundry machine that used electricity and a top-loading drum. After the second prototype, however, he began creating electricity-free models. The first four prototypes were all top-loading laundry machines which rely more an agitation than rolling. However, after the fourth prototype, Jiang learned that a front-rolling drum would aid in better performance. As a result, he began developing the fifth and final prototype, which we now call Drumi.
How it is different
So far, the Drumi has won four awards since 2013: ACIDO Rocket 12th Annual Design Competition - Consumer Product & Experience Award (1st Place) (2013), OCADU Imagination Catalyst "Take It To the Market" Business Pitch Competition (2nd Place)(2013), Finalist of Sustainable Design Awards (Grand Prize) (2013), Canadian Design Resource Best Canadian Design of 2014