New washing machine design makes life easier for pensioners and people suffering back problems

A student has designed a prototype for a labour-saving washing machine which aims to make life easier for pensioners and people suffering back problems.

The state-of-the-art machine, which eliminates the need for bending down, was created by BSc (Hons) Product Design student Robert Vasey, as part of his final-year work at The Nottingham Trent University. It is operated by pressing a button, which makes the drum inside extend outwards. Items are then placed into the top of the drum and the cycle begins once it retracts.

It has given Robert cause for a double celebration. Not only has he just graduated from Nottingham Trent, but he has also received a special Vice-Chancellor’s Award made possible thanks to The Nottingham Trent University Trust Fund.

The awards are given to final-year undergraduates who have made the grade in terms of academic excellence, achievement in adversity, or contributions to the community. The 23-year-old is now starting his own business with the aim of getting manufacturers to take up his idea, called a Sunrise.

Robert said: “I wanted to design something to help people and to really make a difference in their everyday lives. The design is far better than a top-loading washing machine as it is smaller so can fit easily into a normal-sized kitchen. With top-loading machines the user also has to bend over to take items out, but not with the Sunrise. It is also more economic.”

The Chief-Executive of the charity BackCare, Nia Taylor, said: “This design would make a huge difference to people with back pain. One of the worst things about having a bad back is the way that it stops you doing those normal everyday activities like shopping and laundry.

She added: “Many people with an acute back pain can not bend down to put washing in a traditional machine and find it even harder to take it out when it is wet and heavy.”


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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