Big problems, small solutions: Aberdeen academics invent the world’s smallest dishwasher to tackle climate change

By Denny Andonova
Supplied by Robert Gordon UniverExperts create the world’s smallest dishwasher to tackle climate change
Experts create the world’s smallest dishwasher to tackle climate change
A group of Aberdeen academics have helped create the world’s smallest dishwasher – which could be used to clean keys, wallets and even mobile phones.

Experts from the Robert Gordon University teamed up with award-winning Edinburgh company Loch Electronics to design the one-of-a-kind machine, dubbed the Capsule.

The machine can save 86% of water use and 73% of energy consumption when compared to washing dishes by hand.

The team behind the innovative project believes this would allow households to make financial savings while also being environmentally friendly.

What can Capsule do?
Specifically created with single or two-person households in mind, Capsule takes only 15 minutes to wash two meals’ worth of dishes using only two jars of water.

The device can also disinfect and sanitise both kitchen utensils and personal items such as phones, keys and wallets, as well as vegetables and fruit.

It integrates medical grade UV lights inside a washing hub, which can also help prevent the spread and transmission of Covid-19 through contaminated surfaces.

Although Capsule’s unique architecture takes only 9ins of a countertop, it is able to fit larger dinner plates, frying pans, tall bottles, baking pans and even chopping boards.

The plug and play three-in-one mini dishwasher is fully portable and weighs only 10kg, and sits at just 17ins and 9ins wide.

It is said to be “extremely user-friendly” and can be used with or without plumbing.

A one-of-a-kind product
The collaborative project has been funded through the Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher, which is administered by Interface.

It aimed to connect business with academia to create a an innovative machine, which is both environmentally sustainable and energy efficient.

The dishwasher can disinfect and sanitise personal items such as phones, keys and wallets.
The device can disinfect and sanitise personal items such as phones, keys and wallets. Image supplied by RGU.

The use of Capsule in UK households is expected to help reduce their contribution to the country’s carbon footprint by 3.5% per household or 3 million tons of CO2 per year.

Francisco Carreno, chief executive and co-founder of Loch Electronics, described it as a ground-breaking device which would be an asset to every home.

He said: “Loch Electronics is excited to collaborate with RGU on the integration of the medical grade UV Lights inside the dishwasher.

“The innovation is in the product itself, there is nothing like this available on the market at present.

“UV Lights will help sanitise and disinfect small objects which play a key part in the transmission of Covid-19, like phones, keys, wallets, face masks and mail.

“These are items that would normally get damaged with water, therefore, UV Lights is the perfect solution to disinfect them safely.”

Dr Taimoor Asim, senior lecturer in mechanical engineering at RGU, who supported the development of the project added: “The university is proud to collaborate with Loch Electronics and apply its expertise in mechanical design, design optimisation and fluid dynamics to create an innovative product that is not only environmentally sustainable and energy efficient, but also highly effective in addressing the current pandemic.

“This project also exemplifies RGU’s commitment to stimulating innovation and economic development by harnessing its expertise, strengthening its partnerships with industry and supporting the development of products and services.”

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