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Hygiene

Aircraft

Boeing creates self-cleaning, germ-zapping lavatory for airliners

One of the drawbacks of flying is that you're sharing the lavatory with a couple of hundred people of unknown hygiene standards, and the thing won't be properly cleaned again until the plane touches down. To make the airborne germaphobe a bit more comfortable and the facilities more hygienic, Boeing has created a self-cleaning airliner lavatory that uses non-touch technology and ultraviolet light that's claimed to kill 99.99 percent of germs in three seconds.Read More

Huge wet wipes put a shower in your pocket

Music festivals, camping and cycling to work can be smelly and grimey affairs, especially if there are no showers in which to get washed. Wet wipes are an alternative, but are so small they're hardly effective. Epic Wipes, however, are towel-sized wipes designed especially for body cleansing.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

High-tech comb uses plasma to kill lice

As some parents will already know, head lice infestations can be very difficult to treat. Typically a toxic shampoo or lotion has to first be applied to the sufferer's scalp, after which the lice are removed by pulling a specialized comb through their hair. Louse eggs aren't harmed by such shampoos, however, so the treatment needs to be repeated once they've hatched. This means more nasty chemicals, and more discomfort for the child (or adult). That's why researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films have developed an alternative, in the form of a comb that zaps the pests with cold plasma.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Robo-Washer Revolution cleans and dries hands, then recycles its water after each use

We got a glimpse of what future bathroom hygiene might entail last year, when inventor Donal Vitez took the wraps off his all-in-one handwashing and drying device. The prototype for the Robo-Washer was certainly rough around the edges, but the notion of plunging your mitts into some kind of one-stop hand sanitizing wonder machine was enough to catch our attention. Now Vitez is back with a revised Robo-Washer, which like its predecessor handles washing and drying affairs from beginning to end, but then recycles what little water it uses after each cycle.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Goodwell open-source toothbrush is built to last a lifetime

If we assume everybody is acting on the advice of their dentist and replacing their toothbrush every few months, then there's likely a lot of frayed bristles laying in landfill right now. But must our dental care devices take on such as short lifespan? The Goodwell open-source toothbrush is a modern take on oral hygiene, built from eco-friendly materials and made to last until you haven't got any teeth left to brush. Read More

Around The Home

TipTapTop saves water while making hand-washing "fun" for kids

Dyson Award season is rolling around again, showcasing the work of young engineers and designers from around the globe. Here's one French device that's been entered with the goal of teaching kids how to wash their hands in a hygienic manner, without wasting water, while trying to make it as fun as possible. The 3D-printed TipTapTop might end up being an incredibly annoying thing to have in your bathroom, but the way it goes about its job is quite clever.Read More
Health & Wellbeing

Kolibree smart toothbrush keeps an eye on your oral hygiene

Along with some rather unnerving, spinning pieces of metal, our dentists are always drilling into us the importance of a proper brushing technique. Some of us, however, would be guilty of cutting a corner or two in our time, perhaps before rushing out the door in the morning or after dozing off on the couch at night. Aiming to make sure we always uphold the gold standard of oral hygiene is Kolibree, a French start-up whose smart toothbrush is designed to track your brushing efforts to make sure you're hitting those harder to reach places. Read More

Good Thinking

PPlanter public urinal processes pee using plants

If you live in a big city, then there are doubtless alleyways or alcoves you know of that always smell like pee. While it might help to install public urinals in these places, doing so involves a lot of work and expense. Porta Potties are one alternative, although Oakland, California-based Hyphae Design Laboratory has developed a more eco-friendly solution known as the PPlanter. It's a self-contained modular system, that uses bamboo to process the pee.Read More

Robotics

Japanese robots make a stink about bad breath, body odor

Have you got a case of dog breath? How about smelly feet? Friends and family may not tell you, but a couple of new robots will. Built by the Kitakyushu National College of Technology and a group of inventive pranksters calling itself CrazyLabo, the pair of odor-detecting robots are giving people a lesson in hygiene and a few chuckles. Read More

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