Drumi: Human-Powered Washing Machine
Tom Spendlove posted on December 29, 2015 |

Yi Jiang was an industrial design student frustrated with the process of laundering his clothes. He felt that public laundry facilities were expensive, inconvenient, and not always clean. Researching the process of washing clothes, he found that industrial washers use 500 watts of power and 50 liters of water to do one load of laundry. In 2012 Jiang started his thesis project at the Ontario College of Art and Design and after several design iterations he developed Drumi. Drumi is a human powered washer that uses ten liters of water per load in a compact and lightweight package.

Drumi won the 2015 Dyson Award, Canadian division, and is currently running a successful crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo. Drumi units are 20 inches tall and approximately 18 inches in diameter, weighing 20 pounds. Users open the Drumi, add their clothes, detergent and water, and then actuate the foot pedal for around three minutes. A valve is used to release the water, and the process is repeated for a rinse cycle. Water is again removed through the valve and a spin cycle of one to two minutes is used to get rid of excess water. Clothes can then be hung to dry.








Small clothes washing solutions aren’t new. Several solutions exist for people who don’t have access to a river and good washing rocks. Tiny house enthusiasts and outdoorsmen who worry about dirty wardrobes are always looking for fast and easy ways to wash clothes. Drumi is trying to find the sweet spot between sustainability, cost, water conservation, energy conservation and compact design. One highlight for me is the prototype development diagrams on the Indiegogo page, showing the different iterations that Drumi has been through since 2012. Units are expected to ship in October 2016.


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