Team Ω: Washing Machine Auto-Balancer

  • James Davis
  • Polina Osipova
  •  Ravi Wijeseker

All users of washing machines with a rotating drum notice the  vibration of the device in different washing modes. The average vibration in the modern models reaches the amplitude of 8 mm; this causes noise and a general feeling of discomfort even in remote rooms. The cause of this vibration is the unbalanced load of clothes and water within the rotating drum; it results in a shorter life of the device due to premature wear, loosening of electrical contacts, and higher energy loss due to the produced heat.  In order to fight these consequences, the manufacturers usually use elastic shaft couplers at the suspension of the engine and the drum and damping devices in the design of the power-train mounting. However, these measures do not solve the root of the problem.

Our team offers a comparatively cheap active system that allows to significantly decrease the vibration of the drum on any washing machine. The idea is based on the dynamic   balancing through the portions of water, calculated for each cycle with accelerometers. The system is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller.  Experiments showed that the vibration in all modes doesn’t exceed 2 mm in amplitude.   The system is autonomous and can be used as an ‘aftermarket’ product.