When 9-year-old Oyon Ganguli saw the viral ALS ice-bucket challenge, there was only one thought running through his mind, “What a terrible waste of water.” The Massachusetts resident then came up with a shower water recycling prototype called ‘The Cleaner’ that filters water to be re-used in the shower. This conservation-oriented invention won Indian-American Ganguli the Camp Invention Mighty Minds contest this year--a national level contest run jointly by National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) which acts as America’s platform for budding young inventors.
Ganguli’s invention was made inside a strawberry box that held three layers of cleaning material--gravel, sand and charcoal. With help from his friend Mateo Rosado in the filtering process, he entered the competition at his mother’s behest. “I asked my mom how much water is used in a single shower and I learned that around 50 gallons of water is used in a single use. Multiply that by five people taking 20 minute showers, that around 500 gallons,” he said in the Youtube video explaining his prototype. While researching, they found that such a product already exists, but it didn’t stop him from continuing his work.
Ganguli, who is Sahitya Akademi award-winning Bengali novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay’s grandson, was excited about the win. He said he worked for an hour over two weekends to build the presentation. The machine takes in used shower water from the drain and pumps it back to the source after filtering. There is a small door that gives access to the filter in-case it gets clogged. In the video, Ganguli also talks about how the invention can save both water and money. “Even though the invention can be expensive, it saves the government from spending more money to get water and also reduced your water bill,” he explained in the video.
In an interview, he said that his next invention will be ‘The Space Cleaner.’ “It’s a solar-powered robot with one arm that melts space junk and the other arm vacuums up the melted liquid. I also want to become an inventor, work at Lego, or for Mojang [video game company responsible for Minecraft]”
Feature Image Courtesy: NIHF
Words: Preksha Malu