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Ingenius folding colander saves space, looks like an armadillo

The Rmdlo is a lightweight folding colander
The Rmdlo is a lightweight folding colander
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The Rmdlo is a lightweight folding colander
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The Rmdlo is a lightweight folding colander
The Rmdlo uses flexible stainless steel slats to fold out into a dome-shape
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The Rmdlo uses flexible stainless steel slats to fold out into a dome-shape
The device can also be used for steaming
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The device can also be used for steaming
The Rmdlo can be folded away for easy storage in a draw or hung on the wall
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The Rmdlo can be folded away for easy storage in a draw or hung on the wall
It's compact storage size makes it ideal for use when camping
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It's compact storage size makes it ideal for use when camping
It is also said to be durable enough for the wear-and-tear of camping trips
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It is also said to be durable enough for the wear-and-tear of camping trips

The colander (strainer) is unlikely to be top of many people's list of things that need reinventing. That said, a folding, lightweight take on the utensil called the Rmdlo seems to have captured people's imaginations, having exceeded its Kickstarter campaign target with time left to run.

The name Rmdlo is a contraction of the word armadillo, after which the device is named because of the similarity in looks that its folding mechanism shares with the animal's shell. The design uses several stainless steel slats (or "leaves") to make up the colander bowl when it is open, which collapse flat on each other when it is closed.

According to its makers, the primary benefit of the design is that it folds away to a fraction of the size of a normal colander, and is much easier to store as a result. It can be slotted into a draw or hung from the wall on its optional wall mount. The flexibility of the material is also claimed to make it better than traditional rigid colanders for squeezing out liquid from any contents or pouring its contents into another container or onto a plate.

The Rmdlo can be folded away for easy storage in a draw or hung on the wall
The Rmdlo can be folded away for easy storage in a draw or hung on the wall

The inventor of the Rmdlo, Ran Merkazy, explained to Gizmag that he was struck by the phenomena of steel strips being folded into a dome shape before realizing its potential use. "It took a few more years until the final functionality hit me," he said. "This would be perfect for straining and steaming."

Merkazy was working as a full-time designer for Speedo at the time and subsequently Dyson. His time was spent juggling his full-time work with the designing, experimenting and testing of his colander concept when he got home. Dozens of iterations and rethinks were required to get the product to its current stage.

"Getting the mechanism to work was a big challenge on many fronts," Merkazy revealed. "Making the leaves fold and unfold like that was a major challenge, but once that was resolved I had to answer many other questions. How do you package a mechanism that pulls leaves elegantly one after the other into a usable kitchen utensil size? How do you manufacture and assemble it? How do you get it to bend into a classic bowl shape?"

The device can also be used for steaming
The device can also be used for steaming

When open, the Rmdlo measures 220 mm (8.7 in) across and 110 mm (4.3 in) deep. Markazy says it can manage a 2 kg (4.4 lb) load when being held by one handle and, despite the moving parts involved, is confident the Rmdlo has a durable design. Asked if he has plans to redesign any other kitchen utensils Markazy responds shrewdly, "Yes, but I'm not telling!"

The Rmdlo is expected to be available to consumers from October 2014. Assuming all goes to plan, a £20 (US$34) pledge will get you an Rmdlo on its own, £30 will get you the device with a wall mount and for £600 you'll receive a titanium version with a wall mount.

Sources: Rmdlo, Kickstarter

9 comments
Anru
You know, my mom had a folding colander in her kitchen back in the 1950's. Didn't fold up as small, but became a very nice new moon shape. Great take on old idea.
TeenLaQueefa
Anru, I have a vegetable steamer from the 50's which also folds up into a much smaller package. I'm curious, is the center clip a separate piece? If not, it's pretty darn nifty.
Erik Guilfoyle
I can't hold that with one hand or put it in the sink. it requires another pot. Great for steaming I guess?
Ran Merkazy
Hi Erik, the inventor Ran here, to your points - Colander stands upright at the moment, but we are not happy with the stability you get. the final design for manufacturing stage would include refining the design so it stands well through every use case possible. on the one hand operation, I know it doesn't look it, but we've done testing, and you can easily hold up to 2 KG with one hand only. hope this clarifies things. best, ran.
Freyr Gunnar
Beautiful design.
The Skud
A waste of reinvention time - my local supermarket has silicone folding ones for only a few bucks. They telescope down to a flat disc and are quite strong when in use.
exodous
Someone like Kitchen Aid will offer them a truck load of money for their patents and then sell it for half the price with a cork screw. It is a really good idea but is a little pricey. I'm looking into building a house that is under 200 sqft and this would be great.
JPAR
I'm wondering how difficult it might be to clean around the 'joins' i.e. the small overlapping sections. The beauty of a traditional one is that its a doddle to quickly rinse under the tap.
Gracieallen
As a Kickstarter backer of this project, we were just informed that there would be a SEVEN month delay on this colander. So those of you who thought you could buy it in October, sorry.