Talking Device for Kids Gamifies Hand Washing and Saves Water


TipTapTop tells children how to wash their hands and cuts back on water waste

Vashti Hallissey
  • 15 august 2014

Washing their hands is not most kid’s idea of a good time. They can get distracted and leave the water running or not do it properly because they would rather go outside and play. A water-saving device from designers in France aims to get kids squeaky clean by teaching them how to wash their hands thoroughly.

TipTapTop was designed by Théo Sauzon, a student of Mechanical engineering at the University Claude Bernard. It is a 3D printed gadget that is fixed to the tap faucet to control the flow of water. While it looks like simple from the outside, like a big blue drop of water, it has a lot going on inside.

When water flows from the tap into the gadget, it enters a pressurized container which generates energy via a turbine. This energy is stored in a 9-volt rechargeable battery which powers an infra-red sensor and a sound card. With this hydroelectric generator, the device powers itself.

When you wave your hands underneath the TipTapTop, the sensor detects your movements and sends this information to the main circuit board. Water is released in stages and a musical jingle plays, guiding children through every step of the process.

The music sounds like something from a vintage Disney movie and the friendly talking voice of the device has a similar tone. It says things like “I’m here to show you how to wash your hands to get rid of bad microbes!” and “Remember the palms, back of hands, between fingers and wrists!” When you have finished, the device reminds you to wash your hands and says “see you soon.”

As well as teaching kids how to wash, the device saves water. It stops the flow when you remove your hands, which reduces water waste by up to 70%.

The gadget represented France during the Junior Water Prize 2013 in Stockholm and is currently an entrant of the James Dyson Award 2014.

TipTapTop is an innovative design that manages to make personal hygiene fun for kids. Combined with the fact that it cuts down on water waste and is also self-sufficient, we hope that it makes a splash at the awards.


[h/t] gizmag


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