Health & Wellbeing

Robo-Washer all-in-one hand washer and dryer aims to be the next great bathroom revolution

Robo-Washer all-in-one hand wa...
The Robo-Washer in action
The Robo-Washer in action
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The Robo-Washer in action
The Robo-Washer in action
The eletronic innards of the Robo-Washer
The eletronic innards of the Robo-Washer
The Robo-Washer prototype - construction just completed
The Robo-Washer prototype - construction just completed
The Robo-Washer prototype
The Robo-Washer prototype
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Remember how much fun it was to use the Dyson Airblade the first time you saw one? The Robo-Washer steps up the game by doing the washing part for you as well. 360-degree jets of high pressure soapy water are followed by a blast of drying air to give you an all-in-one touchless hand cleaning station with no mess … Even if the prototype does look a bit like a doggy bowl on an apple crate.

Here’s my rough thinking in a public bathroom: I know mine is clean, no other area gets so much attention in the shower. But I don’t wanna be touching anything that’s touched a thing that’s touched yours. That would be icky.

The Dyson Airblade felt like a very cool step into the future when it was first launched in 2006. And a lot of places now combine it with hands-free faucets and soap dispensers to minimize the possibility of picking up somebody else’s bacteria.

But this device goes a fair bit further. The Robo-Washer is like an automatic carwash for your hands. Plonk your hands in the hole, and rub them together as they’re sprayed with 360-degree soapy water at high pressure. Keep rubbing them together as it goes into a dry cycle, and Bob’s your uncle – end-to-end hand washing completed in a single device, totally touch-free and contained in a kind of bucket drain so there’s no mess or water spillage possible.

The Robo-Washer prototype - construction just completed
The Robo-Washer prototype - construction just completed

Its highly enthusiastic inventor Donald Vitez, of New Jersey, points out that if you eliminate the need for dryers on your bathroom walls, you can fit in a few more Robo-Washer units than you could with sinks.

There does appear to be one problem though. In the demonstration video on his Kickstarter page (which you can see below), in which the Robo-Washer is shown in operation, it looks like it takes a full minute and a half to run you through the whole process.

Doubtless this is probably how long it takes to clean your hands properly, but it feels like an eternity to watch. Put it this way: the Airblade is said to dry your hands in under 10 seconds, and even that feels like a long time from a device that’s supposed to be the future. My suspicion is that after one or two novelty runs, a lot of folk are going to look at the Robo-Washer and decide they’ve got better things to do with their 90 seconds.

Either way, the opportunity is there. If the Robo-Washer becomes the next big thing in bathroom technology there’s a gigantic market for it. At the time of writing, the Robo-Washer Kickstarter has a total of ten dollars pledged out of US$100,000 to get the device out of the doggy bowl prototype stage and into production.

We wish Vitez and his many ventures all the best and look forward to sticking our mitts in one of his devices.

Sources: Robo-Washer, Kickstarter

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Rocky Stefano
From the video "A slip and fall accident" LOL. C'mon be serious. In 44 years I've never seen a slip and fall in front of a public or private sink because of over-usage of soap/water
Donald Vitez
I want to address the comment made by Loz about the cycle time. Once the unit enters into the drying cycle, the remaining cycle time is controlled by the user. The drying cycle will continue until the user removes their hands from the unit at which time Robo-Washer will shut off ready for the next person.
The next unit to be developed will significantly reduce the drying time. which will in-turn reduce the overall cycle time. The width of the next unit to be developed will be reduced significantly from the prototype shown in the video. This permits multiple Robo-Washer units to be positioned in the space now occupied by the conventional sink.
In addition to its advanced splash free and self cleaning design, the Robo-Washer as demonstrated in the video on kickstarter, massages your hands as you use it. In other videos posted on my youtube channel people are seen laughing while washing their hands due to the massaging effect that Robo-Washer provides.
Robo-Washer: Hand Washing Reinvented
Mark A
And if I want to splash my face?
Donald Vitez
In response to Rocky Stefano. Are you a personal injury attorney?
I have an interesting perspective on this product.
Over 20 years ago, I worked as an engineer for a company that developed and manufactured a product very much like this one. It was focused on providing automated hand washing to the restaurant industry. The product never took off, because health depts. didn't mandate it and was perceived to be an unnecessary cost.
This company employed the expertise of industrial designers and produced a well thought out and polished design.
Obviously this unit is a prototype. My first reaction to this product is, to be candid, that the ergonomics are very poor.
There are a number of issues with the position and orientation of the washing area causing unnatural and awkward body positioning by the users.
If the developer of this product hopes to be successful, they should research proper ergonomics and redesign the product.
The internal components of the product may benefit from redesign also, but those can't be seen in the video.
It's a decent concept, but will people pay for it.
Why use 'robo' in the name? Sell this to Dyson and move on.
Your dryer is revolutionary,and a very ecologically minded design.IMO. as a designer, can the entry point be angled towards the user?
I don't know about Dyson, but the Hitachi and Mitsubishi air blade hand dryers were pretty nice in Japan back when I visited in 2003.
Most of the world's population still doesn't even have running water... are they going to go straight to this? Most of those don't have electricity,either... While part of the world advances, over half the world still languishes, lacking even the basic aspects of living the other side takes entirely for granted.
I am not liberal or conservative, Socialist or Capitalist- I am just looking at the obvious disparity here on this planet. This is something that matters to me and is reflected in products &d evelopments like this.
What a REAL revolution in personal water usage would be would entail better purification, desalination or distribution/management of water for those who don't have access to clean & safe water.
This is NOT a tangent because a product like this is NOT a "revolution"- it is simply more convenient. A person living in the developed areas can use a conventional hand dryer to gain everything offered here cheaper&easier without re-modeling.
Look at our species objectively-
Any other race advanced enough to travel across the Interstellar Gap would most likely look at us and say, "Well,if they treat each other like this- how would they treat another race that stood between them and new resources?"
"Let's just check back on them later... if they survive."
There are variations on this theme, of course, but I can easily see that there is a point in the technological development of a species where they will either:
1.Self-destruct, partially or totally, lapsing into anarchy or genocide.
2.Come to maturity as a race and be able to remember the past while creating a sustainable future, on their home world and any other point within reach.
3.Manage to partially escape a failing world while leaving most of their race behind and take off for new worlds to "slash&burn" and "divide or conquer".
We are at the threshold and we are honestly closer to 1 or 3 than 2.
I would like to say that we are perfect and getting better but we are devouring this world's resources while tremendously polluting it. This is basically just a simple combination of existing gadgets- It just bothers me that it is considered to be "revolutionary". We need to be more realistic as to our actual use of science.
"It has become painfully obvious to me that man has entirely too much power... and to make matters worse, he wants even more and he can't even handle what he already has!" -Albert Einstein c.1950's (paraphrased)
Sometimes I come up with product ideas and decide they probably aren't worth pursuing and then I see other products people spend money to launch and I think I should probably pursue some of mine.
I'd rather work with established companies and make like 0.01% on the product but have them sort out things like supply and distribution and I'm not real sure how best to go about it but if I call patent attorneys they will extort more money from me than I stand to gain in profit. I have 2 or 3 things I want to do but I'm afraid if I just call up a company and pitch to them and they tell me no I'll see them launch my product in 2 years on their own without crediting me.