Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Markets in Everything: $40 Foot-Powered Washing Machine That Could Change Millions Of Lives
From Fast Company -- "About a year ago, two students from the Art Center College of Design named Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You traveled from Los Angeles to Cerro Verde, a 30,000 person slum outside of Lima, Peru. Their goal? Develop a commercial product that alleviates issues related to water poverty, targeted at people who earn between $4 and $10 a day."
Here's what they came up with:
"The GiraDora (see picture above and video demonstration below) is a blue bucket that conceals a spinning mechanism that washes clothes and then partially dries them. It’s operated by a foot pedal, while the user sits on the lid to stabilize the rapidly churning contents. Sitting alleviates lower-back pain associated with hand-washing clothes, and frees up the washer to pursue other tasks. It’s portable, so it can be placed nearby a water source, or even inside on a rainy day. It reduces health risks like joint problems, skin irritation, and mold inhalation. Most importantly, it uses far less water and cleans clothes faster than conventional hand-washing. This equates to more free time, explains Cabunoc, and the opportunity to 'break the cycle of poverty.'"