Smart rack takes in the laundry when it rains

Smart rack takes in the laundry when it rains

SINGAPORE - Rain-soaked laundry may become a problem of the past if some university students get their way.

A quartet of freshmen from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have built SmartDry - an intelligent clothes rack that automatically moves clothes back into the house when it rains.

Their prototype is fitted with light and rain sensors. Under gloomy, wet conditions, the rack moves indoors and saves home owners from having to do more laundry.

"We did a survey of about 200 people, and 79 per cent said that they re-wash clothes if they are caught in the rain," said Miss Faizah Ja'affar, 20. "Our creation helps to save energy and, for the elderly, also helps to prevent the physical strain of carrying bamboo poles."

The group was so dedicated that it even visited the HDB branch office at Ang Mo Kio to make sure its design suited the layout of existing flats.

Their invention was one of more than 60 on display at the university over the past two days. Developed as part of a design class, the projects are intended to solve problems of energy efficiency and sustainability.

Some will even become exhibits at the Science Centre.

Other new designs include a medicine box that lights up and beeps to remind its owners that it is time to pop a pill.

A display on the front of the box also indicates the amount of medicine to be taken.

"The elderly living by themselves tend to have poorer memory and forget to take their medicine," said Mr Teh Jun Hao, 21.

Knowing that many users may not be tech-savvy, the team of five included a feature which allows pharmacists to key in their patients' dosages wirelessly.

Their invention even includes a weight sensor to detect if the medicine has been taken.

"The elderly don't actually have to know how it works," said team member Ng Zi Kai, 21. "We want it to be as intuitive as possible."

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.