Popular Science

February 16, 2012

Waterless Washing Machine Levitates Laundry and Cleans It With Dry Ice

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It makes my day when new technology promises to make life’s most tedious tasks more interesting. Take laundry, for example. I would loathe it so much less if I had a friendly robot to help me fold my socks. Or perhaps if I had this waterless washing machine, which would levitate my clothes and scrub them clean with dry ice in a matter of minutes.

The Orbit uses a battery-filled ring to levitate a supercooled superconductive metal laundry basket. The basket is coated in two layers of shatterproof glass and chilled using liquid nitrogen. The batteries inside the ring produce a magnetic field, and the basket levitates inside this field as its electrical resistivity drops.

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Technology, Rebecca Boyle, appliances, concepts, energy efficient, laundry, laundry tech, magnetic levitation, washing machinesThe laundry orb, which is opened and controlled using a ceramic-based touchscreen interface, blasts sublimated dry ice at supersonic speeds toward your clothes. The carbon dioxide interacts with the organic materials in your laundry and breaks them down. Then the dirt and grime is filtered out through a tube that you can rinse, and the CO2 is removed and re-frozen (though it’s not clear how, because this would require lots of energy). Voila, clean and dry clothes.

At this point it’s just a concept by designer Elie Ahovi, but it’s not hard to imagine these types of cleanerballs in apartments of the future. Anything that will cut down on time spent doing laundry.

[via Treehugger]

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