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.

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