Tasks that seem obvious for us can be a real challenge for a visually impaired person. Checking if the water bowl of her guiding dog was empty was a time-consuming and physically demanding job for Kathleen. As Bengo, her guiding dog can’t bark, even when he’s hungry or thirsty, his drinking bowl was sometimes empty for some time. This brought a feeling of guilt to Kathleen but thanks to a close cooperation we were able to solve this problem.
During a first creativity session a lot of different ideas and solutions flourished. So we went to visit Kathleen in a really early stage of the creation process to set up a list of her wishes and demands. One of the ideas we had completely fit her expectations. This gave us the opportunity to make a working prototype on the spot. Kathleen was really happy and relieved when we came to visit her for the second time as our prototype was broken. The fact that she really missed it was a sign that we were on a good track.
Our solution is a balance system that’s being put under the drinking bin. When the weight of the water in the bin is too low a switch is turned on. This triggers a solar powered flashing light that immediately draws the attention a Kathleen and impels her to fill Bengo’s water bin. To make the system as efficient as possible we offer the possibility to adjust the contact to the right weight in a very user-friendly way.