WATCH: UCT student invents a Pedal n Spin foot-cranked washing machine

Date:2 February 2022 Author: Leigh-Ann Londt Tags:, , , , , ,

University of Cape Town (UCT) student, Kai Goodal has secured the top spot in the RS Components International People.Planet.Product Student Design Challenge for his Pedal n Spin foot-cranked washing machine invention.

According to UCT, Goodall is a Master’s student in the Department of Electrical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment and a social innovator at heart.

Goodall was the only African candidate among six other finalists. Three were from universities in the United Kingdom and two were from Singapore. Each pitched their design to a panel of judges at the final on 26 November 2021.

This is Kai’s first big international win.

“It was a great experience to be involved with other bright students from around the globe as they each brought unique ideas to the table,” says Kai as per a statement. “It’s an incredible milestone in my engineering career that I will always cherish,” he adds.

Goodall’s foot-operated washing machine is a refinement of the Divya hand-cranked version that is used around the globe.

The statement further explains that his winning Pedal n Spin device refines the design, usability and sustainability of the current hand-cranked Divya washing machine that has been put to work in many different social environments around the globe.

However, Goodall knew he could improve the ergonomics of the design while ticking the boxes on affordability, portability, maintainability and usability.

“The design started with rapid prototyping and robust engineering testing to achieve the most efficient and reliable final washing machine design,” says Goodall. “The manufacturing process of the final design was streamlined and developed with the hands-on support of Grant Bramwell, one of the directors of Forest Creations, a sustainable local woodwork workshop in Cape Town, South Africa.”

Goodall focused on sustainability and recyclability. The washing machine is made from wood and steel components. It can be easily manufactured and repaired in basic workshops anywhere in the world.

To validate his design, Goodall tested it by gathering people of various ages, sizes and physical strength. His 12-year-old brother, Oliver Bramwell, was called to test it, as well as his 85-year-old grandmother, Margaret du Toit, who said, “It’s easier to use than you think.”

Washing can be done with the Pedal n Spin machine in as little as 25 litres of cold water and 5 kg at a time. The cage set up on the side of the water-tight drum can easily be removed, removed, and filled with water, soap, and laundry.

“It can take hot water,” said Kai, “but its potential users, who either have no access to electricity or can’t afford it, will likely struggle to heat large quantities of water using fire.”

Goodall has a passion for technology and keeps society’s needs in mind, looking for more sustainable solutions that use renewable energy and biodegradable and recyclable materials.

“I chose to study engineering to solve social problems through innovative ideas. These are driven by the pressing need for new technologies to boost the renewable energy sector and the sustainability of the planet while improving the lives of people from all spheres of society,” Goodall adds.

Picture: Instagram

Latest Issue :

May-June 2022