TipTapTop saves water while making hand-washing "fun" for kids
By Loz Blain
August 12, 2014
Dyson Award season is rolling around again, showcasing the work of young engineers and designers from around the globe. Here's one French entrant aimed at 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.
TipTapTop is a water balloon-sized, 3D-printed gadget that attaches to the tap faucet in your bathroom. Once it's attached, you turn the taps on and let it manage the water flow. When your kids (or alternatively, your adults) go to wash their hands, they wave them under a sensor that starts the water flow and triggers a very perky little audio jingle that talks them through the hand-washing process.
"I'm here to show you how to wash your hands to get rid of bad microbes!"
"Put some soap in your hands and scrub until it makes bubbles! Remember the palms, back of hands, between fingers and wrists!"
"Well done! Now rinse your hands, and send the soap, bubbles and the germs down the drain!"
I'd say I could go through the process a dozen times, tops, before becoming homicidal. But children have a much higher tolerance for these things.
In order to save water, the tap is turned off automatically during the scrubbing section, and again after the wash is done. The clever bit is how TipTapTop powers itself using a miniature hydroelectric generator to harness the pressurized water to top up a 9-volt rechargeable battery. According to the inventors, it generates an excess of power even once the audio and sensor circuits are accounted for, so the jingle never has to stop!
It's all a bit much for me, personally, and the device itself looks too big to fit in all sinks, but it could provide the necessary prodding to get youngsters washing up effectively. We wish the TipTapTop crew all the best in the upcoming Dyson Awards.
You can see the "fun" process in the video below.