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In Pictures: Inventor's tiny washing machine won Dyson design award

Yi Jiang designed foot-powered washer for his industrial-design thesis project

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Living in a high-rise building has its ups and downs. For Yi Jiang, trekking to the basement to do laundry was one such downside. The chore would lead him to design a small, foot-powered washing machine for his industrial-design thesis project while he was a student at Toronto’s OCAD University in 2013.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

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Mr. Jiang says that while larger items of clothing such as jeans or jackets still need to be washed in a traditional machine, smaller items such as T-shirts and underwear don’t require such an energy-inefficient method. “For a really small load, do we really need electricity to generate the power?” he says. “That’s how the foot pedal idea came up.”

YiREGO Corp.

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Mr. Jiang launched his machine, called the Drumi, at Toronto’s Green Living Show in March this year, where it was a big hit. It stands 55 centimetres tall and weighs about six kilograms. The user adds five litres of water and detergent and pumps the pedal for a few minutes, then presses a button to drain the dirty water. More clean water rinses the clothes.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

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The washer is portable and good for students, boaters, RV trailer enthusiasts and cottages. It requires no electricity and emits zero carbon emissions.

YiREGO Corp.

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In July the Drumi won a James Dyson Award for its design and environmental impact. Demand for the Drumi, which is priced at $169 and manufactured in Shenzhen, China, has surpassed the company’s preliminary annual sales projections of between 800 and 1,000 units.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

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