Woof to Wash

A washing machine that can be started with a bark

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GB United Kingdom
Web http://www.fastcoexist.com/3023115/this-laundry-machine-for-dogs-starts-with-a-bark?utm_source=Innovators&utm_campaign=6db83c211c-Innovators_Newsletter_December_1712_17_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=
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Starting

About the project Edit

JTM Services is a British company that works in commercial laundry. The founder, John Middleton spotted a gap in the market when it comes to disabled users. The company is working with manufacturer Miele to design a custom machine with a single program and automatically-injected soap that can be started by a dog's bark. The machine is designed to be useable by support dogs for people with limited mobility.

“We worked with dog trainers to find out what the support dogs could do, and found that a common command is ‘Speak,’” Middleton says. “So on command from the owner, the dog can bark to start the machine. The dogs also know how to use their paws on a switch, which is how they unlock the door at the end of the cycle. A pull-toy opens the door. Because it’s a single-program washing machine, the dog doesn’t have to decide which program it’s going to use-- it starts automatically, and the detergent’s automatically injected from the rear of the machine so the dog doesn’t have to worry about putting soap powder in.”

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

The project addresses a need in the lives of disabled people.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

Innovations such as this increase the ease with which disabled people can live their lives.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Currently, each machine must be custom made to take into account different breeds, different heights of the dogs and the fact that different dogs many know different commands. As such, the project is expensive to expand and cannot be expanded quickly. The company has already had interest in developing human voice-activated machines and is working toward developing something like this as well.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit


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