Punch Through Design’s Simone Giertz has created a helmet that brushes your teeth.
With seemingly everything around us becoming smarter, it was only a matter of time before your toothbrush became Internet-connected as well. Equipped with sensors, these accessories are now capable of detecting improper brushing habits, analyzing the healthiness of your teeth and ensuring that you’ve spent enough time cleaning. Despite how intelligent they’ve become, they still lack one major convenience factor: hands-free control. Perhaps that may all change after companies lay their eyes upon Simone Giertz’s latest creation.
The San Francisco-based Maker and Creative Technologist at Punch Through Design has developed a prototype of what she calls the Toothbrush Machine — a clever combination of both a skateboard helmet and a MeArm. Whereas most MeArms are equipped with a claw, she replaced it with a toothbrush instead.
The system, which we covered on Bits & Pieces earlier this year, is powered by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) along with a servo shield and motor. As you can see from the GIF below, the Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor-like contraption features a robotic arm that drops down and precisely paces the bristles in front of the wearer’s teeth, as it begins scrubbing back and forth.
For those unfamiliar with the MeArm, the Arduino-compatible device is the brainchild of Benjamin Gray and Jack Howard, and was designed to be a simple and affordable way to put robotic arms into the reach of Makers. Essentially a shrunken-down version of ordinary industrial machines, the portable mechanism opens the doors to countless projects — clearly demonstrated by Giertz.
According to the Maker, the helmet was devised as part of a pilot episode for a kids TV show with hopes of teaching viewers about electronics by building more or less “useless robots.” It also serves as a great reminder that you don’t always have to take your projects too seriously. Regardless of how silly it may look, however, such an innovation could one day help those with impaired mobility regain their independence while providing tremendous oral hygiene benefits.
While you may not see your dentist or the ADA endorsing a product like this anytime soon, it’ll certainly be a conversation starter to say the least! And now, you can create one of your own by following Giertz’s step-by-step tutorial on Instructables.
Better yet, maybe MAKE: Magazine is onto something: why not take it step further and add a few extra arms for a Q-tips ear cleaner, a brush makeup applicator and a Gillette beard shaver.