Design for assisted living; the ‘woof to wash’ washing machine
By Alex 24-09-2020
In the UK the charity “Support Dogs” provides around 6,500 highly trained assisted living dogs to those who require some extra help to get through day-to-day life. Trained to carry out routine daily tasks from removing the sheets off the bed to collecting the post, they enrich the lives of many and are an invaluable resource to the service users. One company has recognised the capabilities and living arrangements of those using the Support Dogs charity and is in the process of developing a new washing machine that is to be operated completely by the assistance living dog, removing some of the struggles of use by those with motor difficulties.
Recognising that the dog cannot operate the washing machine through the interface displays designed for people, the technique of ‘woof to wash’ has been built into the functionality of the washing machine, allowing assistance living dogs to turn it on through barking. Each wash cycle also automatically dispenses the right level of detergent and has a pre-determined cycle time, simplifying the process greatly. JTM, the company behind its inception in partnership with the white goods manufacturer Miele have reached the prototyping stage and are now looking to develop the technology further.