• TipTapTop
  • Subtitle
  • TipTapTop's functions
    TipTapTop's functions
  • The first prototype
    The first prototype
  • The device on Solidworks
    The device on Solidworks
  • One motto: water saves, save water
    One motto: water saves, save water
  • TipTapTop in action
    TipTapTop in action
  • The energy balance
    The energy balance
  • Another shot of the prototype
    Another shot of the prototype
  • Initial sketches
    Initial sketches
TipTapTop - Presentation
What It Does

TipTapTop is an original tap which answers three fundamental criteria of children’s education: hygiene, ecology and pedagogy.
It teaches children how to wash their hands in a new and amusing way, reducing water waste up to 70%, increasing sanitation and hygiene. Indeed, our device puts forward a perfect hygiene because children will never be in contact with the tap during its utilization.
Through a jolly jingle, TipTapTop guides children and show them how fun it can be to wash their hands, delivering him the different steps of the hand washing process.
Last but not least, this device is totally self-sufficient, so it allows TipTapTop to be operational every time a child needs it.
For more informations: www.tiptaptop.fr

The Inspiration

“How many children waste water while washing their hands?” Too many!
“Kids, do you always wash your hands as you’re told?” Not always!

TipTapTop creation is based on two problematic daily encountered:
- The valorization of the hydraulic pressure delivered by a tap, which is, in the usual course, lost.
- The fact that children don’t attach enough importance to hand washing.

We gave a particular attention to develop an energetically self-sufficient device that is able to retrieve the energy stored as pressurized water. The hydraulic energy provided by the water flow is converted into electric energy. Indeed, it represents an unexploited source of energy that can feed small electrical devices.
The goal of this project is also to assist children with hand washing in an amusing way: on a statistical point of view, it is rarely done correctly. This task should normally last half a minute. Surveys conducted in nursery and primary schools have demonstrated that regular hand washing done correctly decreases considerably the risk of contracting diseases.
Our goal is therefore to design a device which makes young children more aware of hygiene, turning it into something amusing. Besides, it needs to respect the environment i.e. it has to prevent water waste.
Finally, we wish to teach next generations the true value of water, the most essential resource on Earth.

How It Works

TipTapTop has three main functions:
It guides children during the hand washing process by delivering a jolly jingle and creating a visual impact. Furthermore, it controls the opening and closing of the tap thus reducing water waste. Last but not least, TipTapTop produces the energy it consumes.

Those functions enable this device to fulfil many criteria:

Hygienic - As the TipTapTop contains an infrared sensor, there is no need to touch anything to trigger the water flow. This advantage eliminates many sources of contamination. Indeed, this contactless feature makes hand washing much healthier.
Pedagogical - Thanks to TipTapTop, children learn how to wash their hands in a funny way with the jolly jingle; they are not annoyed by a boring lesson. Children are therefore more aware and receptive about the importance of hygiene.
Ecological - With the infrared sensor, the device immediately plummets waste by eliminating unnecessary and unattended water flow. It provides the user water only when needed. Indeed, this technology enables the user to save up to 70% of water compared to a regular tap. Additionally, the turbine provides us a yield that is sufficient enough to offer a positive energy balance. Thus, it doesn’t have to be recharged and can remain on standby for several months.

TipTapTop is a fast and easy to set up device. Once installed and switched on, it is fully operational for a daily use.
This is how it works: children put his hands under the tap near the infrared sensor, triggering the beginning of a cycle. Water starts flowing, as well as the soundtrack.
Then, children rinses his hands. When he removes them from underneath the tap to soap, the flow of water stops and the jingle still plays.
Once he puts them back, the water flow starts again until the end of the full cycle. Throughout a full cycle, the jingle guides children at the different stages of hand washing.

Stages of Development

TipTapTop started with a simple question based on an environmental issue: how can we recover the hydraulic energy, lost every time that a tap is used? The answer was pretty simple: thanks to a turbine.
We pushed forward: how could we wisely use this energy? An electric device such as a shaver or a toothbrush would be operating. But our goal was to design something that solves problems daily encountered using an innovative solution.
We made web researches about problems encountered with the utilization of taps. We found lots of surveys dealing with hand washing. This other problematic led us to think of a new device fed by the energy of the pressurized water used.
Though, we wanted to design a device that makes young children more aware of hygiene and that turns hand washing into something appealing. Since the best way to learn something is to do it by yourself, appealing curiosity is a good solution to instil notions in children’s mind. Furthermore, sound and images are more accessible for children. As a result, we thought about an attractive device designed such as a water drop. It would send an audio message guiding children during their hand washing thanks to a sound card and a speaker.
Since our first goal was to prevent people from wasting water and therefore energy, we chose to add an infrared sensor and a solenoid valve that will control the water flow.

With all that in mind, we developed this device. It took place into two parallel processes: design and communication.

The TipTapTop design started with 3D modeling. We had to house all of our components in an attractive shell. We decided to give it a water drop shape, reminding one of the aims of our project: ecology. Most of the components are fixed on an internal structure in order to get a device as compact as possible. This five-part shell has then been waterproofed with polyester, sanded, painted and varnished in order to obtain a glossy look. On the electronic side, we had to connect all of the components together and to adjust voltages: the 12V delivered by the generator is lowered to 9V to feed the battery and to 6V to power the IR sensor, the solenoid valve and the sound card.
Then, to attract children and to make this daily hand washing process funnier, a lot of means have been deployed, creating an entire universe around our system. The delivered message is backed by a dynamic soundtrack as well as a zestful voice. We recorded different ones, in different languages to bring diversity in TipTapTop’s attractiveness so that children don’t get bored. We also create a mascot that embodies our device, Electroboy, which offers a surprising and funny aspect.

After a period of tuning with waterproofing and electronic improvements, TipTapTop finally birthed in an operational way. The prototype was tested by children several times. All of young testers enjoyed it and gave us a good feedback. Adults were also enthusiastic and we received a lot of requests dealing with TipTapTop’s purchase, especially for schools.

After those tests, all the feedbacks we had helped us to improve our prototype. We added a switch at the back of the device to turn TipTapTop off but also to use it without the soundtrack. It has three positions:
ON-1 that teaches children how to wash their hands in a new and amusing way (regular mode)
ON-2 that allows parents to use the tap without the soundtrack
OFF to simply turn off the device during holiday


TipTapTop went to the final round of the French engineering competition: “Les olympiades de l’ingénieur”.
TipTapTop won the French Stockholm Junior Water Prize in 2013 and represented France during the World Water Week in Stockholm during the international step of the competition.