We've certainly seen portable washing machines before here at Gizmag, although they've tended to be quite small and/or human-powered. There are higher-capacity electric models, which are more like their full-sized counterparts. The Venus, however, takes yet another approach. It's an electric agitator, that goes into a bucket supplied by the user.
The device runs off a standard household current, and is simply clamped onto the side of a 20-liter or larger bucket. You then add water and detergent, flip the power switch, then add items of clothing a few at a time as the water churns. Up to 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) of material can be washed in one cycle, which takes about five minutes.
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Inventor Piyush Agarwalla created the Venus with several applications in mind.
First and foremost, he'd like to see it used by people in developing nations. Often these people can't afford a proper washing machine, they don't have room for one in their small home, or they don't have the necessary plumbing. As a result women will spend hours hunched over, washing clothes by hand and injuring their backs, shoulders and hips in the process.
According to Agarwalla, the Venus also requires less water than would be required to wash the equivalent amount of clothing by hand. Third-world users would need access to an electrical outlet with the current version, although a battery-powered model is in the works.
The device could also be used by campers, students without on-site laundry facilities, or for washing items that are too heavily-soiled to go straight into a regular washing machine.
It's already in limited production in India, although Piyush hopes to make it more accessible by driving its price down through mass production. To that end, he's currently raising funds on Indiegogo. A pledge of US$45 will get you a Venus, when and if they're ready to go. You can see a demonstration of one in the video below.
For another example of a washing machine designed to make life easier for people in developing nations, check out the foot pedal-powered GiraDora.