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Working hard or hardly working? These kids are playing and pumping water at the same time Working hard or hardly working? These kids are playing and pumping water at the same time
Photo Frimmel Smith, PlayPumps Int.

Merry-Go-Round That Pumps Water

 
It's one of the best known scenes in American literary history. When Mark Twain's character Tom Sawyer wanted to get out of the chore of painting his fence, he tricked some local kids into believing that painting the fence was fun. I always thought this was a funny concept. But now a company called PlayPumps International has devised a real way to make a chore into a pleasure. Their idea is fairly simple—a child's merry-go-round pumps clean water from underground to a 2,500 liter tank. The water stored in the tank can then be distributed to families in the area. Although PlayPumps is concerned with distributing this technology to developing nations (ones that have no mechanized water-pumping infrastructure), I think we can learn a lot from this type of innovation. Every time I look at a gym I see a bunch of people on treadmills and wonder why we don't tap into that expended energy. Maybe there's room for yet more innovation...







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