After completing this week's ACT mission, it got me thinking a little. So here's the deal. I live in an apartment with horrible wall-to-wall carpeting. I also live in the Middle East.
Here (and in lots of other places in the world), we have a time-honored tradition of carpet-weaving. In our particular context, where water is a very limited resource, carpets are a great way of keeping a clean floor without the need for cleaning water. Carpets can be cleaned in one of three ways: either by the energy-consuming, tiring carpet beater; by the time-consuming and rather inefficient carpet sweeper, or more commonly by the electricity-consuming vacuum cleaner.
The idea for a manual vacuum cleaner, that will clean carpets quickly, thoroughly and without the use of electricity or tiring physical effort, is hardly new or original. Apparently, manual vacuum cleaners have been in existence since the late 19th century using various mechanism that ended up being no less tiring than old-fashioned carpet beating. This invention culminated in the state-of-the-art friction-operated cleaners, which used the wheels of the cleaner to power themselves, and were popular up until the 1940s, by which time most homes in the developed countries were connected to the power grid and have switched to aggressively-marketed electric vacuum cleaners.
A short info (and a pic) can be found here
Now, in the good while that passed since the 1940s, electrical vacuum cleaners have evolved. They are more efficient and thorough, and hopefully (though I don't know for certain) also a little more power conserving.
So, using what we know now - can we bring the friction-cleaner back to life for use in carpeted homes - many of which are located in developing countries?
Since I know next to nothing about physics and engineering, I challenge the network to find an answer.