‘PedalTap’, is an affordable portable hands free foot operated water tap dispensing system. The PedalTap technology is modifying the existing water tap system to create a no touch cost effective solution for developing countries that reduces the growth and frequency of potent and infectious diseases spread like flu, cholera, Ebola on existing taps. Effectve hand hygiene contributes 60% reduction in hospital care associated infectious and potent diseases spread in public faclities.
We have currently installed 8 prototypes in public places vulnerable to infectious and potent disease spread at water points around Uganda’s Capital of Kampala e.g. Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA’s public toilets and school), Mulago National Referral hospital, Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) and Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI). During this user experimental stage, over 1,000 people have used the PedalTaps.
The user feedback is informing further refinement of the prototype that is more robust, technically feasible, sustainable and profitable.
The PedalTap student team funded the Needfinding exercise and local fabrication of the initial prototype.
The team has leveraged partnerships with organizations such as the Innovation Consortium Limited who supported proof of concept. Furthermore, the team has been in position to apply and participate in other international competitions like the Big IDEAS competition by UC Berkeley where we won a price under the Global Health Category of $ 5,000.
The team is also a beneficiary of Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) where they worn a grant of $5,000. These funds are being used to develop the 8 prototypes that we have piloted for user experiment feedback.
We are continuously soliciting for additional funding to support piloting and scaling of this innovation.
How it Works
The premise of the PedalTap is alleviating the usability and hand hygiene problems associated with the existing tap systems.
The system consists of a spring loaded foot pedal which is connected to one of the existing valves. The pedal consist of a base on which the foot is placed, which is connected to a rod, a spring and a valve in sequence.
Connected to the valve is a spring with a carefully chosen constant of elasticity to allow for easy actuation. This spring allows the valve to return to its original (OFF) position when force is released. This is because of its ability to store potential energy during the time when it is stretched. The operator only needs to press the foot pedal for the water to flow. This means that on release of the force from the pedal, the water stops flowing as the valve-spring is restored to its original position.
The PedalTap is built using metal scrap which is locally available at low cost on the market. This scrap is recycled to make the base, foot pedal, connecting rod, spring and metal casing which are all components of the PedalTap. This makes the tap affordable, low cost and readily available to end users.
The advantages of the PedalTap include; No hand contact as the actuation is done by stepping on the foot pedal, eliminates human errors, it is easy to operate, it is a permanent mechanism, Manual system works well in developing countries since there is no or minimal running cost, and there is reduction in water wastage by more than half the water one would ordinarily use to wash his/her hands since water only flows with applied force and as soon as this force is removed then the tap instantly closes.
The foot pedal controlled valve can be installed within hospitals, public places such as toilets within city buildings, hotels, schools, churches, individual homes and industries.
Evidence it Works
Yes it works and already we have 8 PedalTaps installed. The PedalTap are in use. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtOJt9Nw4KY
Current Users / Testers Include
Selected communities around Uganda’s Capital of Kampala i.e. Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA’s public toilets, main office and school), Infectious Disease Institute (IDI) hospital at Mulago, Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH). Other organizations that promote proper hand hygiene as a mean of infection prevention and control.
Strategy for expanding use of your innovation
We plan to partner with organizations that promote hand hygiene as a means of infection prevention and control e.g World Health organization, Infectious Disease Institute, Ministries of Health among others. Other beneficiaries would be those that promote saving water e,g National Water and Sewerage Co-operation.
As a team, we hope to pursue training in business modeling so as to position this innovation to roll out in new markets globally.
We are in the process of developing a Communication and Outreach strategy including user manual guides targeting engagement of key stakeholders.
Impact: reduced potent and infectious diseases spread, reduced nosocomial infection, better hand washing behavior, reduced water consumption
We are currently iterating the PedalTap leveraging the user feedback. We have funding till design of the final product and now seeking for funding for production of the refined taps for scaling.