I do not claim to be particularly creative, but I have creative ideas all the time. You know that high you get when you think of something or daydream and say to yourself, “Dang I am smart. I’m sure no one else has thought of that.” I am sure many of you have the same experience as me though - you think the idea is creative and original and a few days later you see that someone not only already thought of it, but has already done it.
The Internet is a particular downer when it comes to finding out that you are not the only one with the particular bright idea. With a search engine like Google, you can type out a few words and see if anyone out there has already brought your great idea to fruition.
I find myself constantly thinking of all the possible ways a bike can be used to make life better for people and the planet. Each time I am at the laundry mat, I find myself thinking about all the power that is used and one day I daydreamed of an alternate way. 60 seconds with Google and I found out my dream had already come true, multiple times. There are several versions of bike washing machines out. One idea is to take an existing washing machine and hack it (link here).
Another version appears on the inhabitat web site.
This option appears to be the most technical and certainly not very mobile.
The design I stumbled upon that I like the best is one that leaves the bike fully functional and seems fairly inexpensive and simple. My only beef is that it is couched as being designed for the "developing world." My feeling is that those in the developed world could likely benefit as much or more from exerting the effort rather than pushing a button to wash clothing.
Have you used a bike to perform the function of machine? Let us know.