In our free time we like to do a lot of sports, so that one day, after we took off our running shoes after a group sports event, we asked ourselves how to remove odours from shoes. Through our research activities at the university we were able to learn with numerous technologies and working methods, which led us to the combination of UV, ozone, temperature modes paired with air currents, in order to kill and remove the microorganisms responsible for odours in an energy-efficient and material-saving way. Thus the idea of RefresherBoxx as a new washing machine, which uses neither water nor chemicals, was born. Due to SARS-CoV-2 we - we are 6 students in total - got more and more inquiries if our RefresherBoxx (RBx) can also be used against corona viruses. After a lot of research we came to the conclusion that our RBx can be effective against SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the Friday For Future movement has made us all much more aware of the waste of resources. By reconditioning face masks and protective clothing, we can make them reusable through treatment by RefresherBoxx, saving a lot of resources and energy for their production.
What it does
In the RefresherBoxx the face masks are treated with temperature, at about 65 to 70 or at 90 degrees, UV-C Light, active oxygen and air pressure. With that the protein shell of the virus or the outer wall of the bacteria is destroyed and the microorganisms are inactivated and die. Furthermore, the RNA, the core of the virus, is destroyed with UV light. Thus the danger of infection can be minimized and the face masks can be worn again without any worries.
How we built it
We built everything by learning by doing. Our team from the RWTH Aachen University consists of mechanical engineers, IT developers, biotechnologists and chemists. Together we developed, built, tested, optimized, rebuilt, re-tested and iterated all the RefresherBoxx designs and developments step by step, combining our respective expertise. We have now developed a RefresherBoxx Health Care version that can help hospitals, nursing homes, police, schools and people in key positions. These people are on the road every day for us in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and risk their lives. We want to say thank you with our invention and help you with the supply shortages of breathing masks and protective clothing where we can. Furthermore, the RefresherBoxx should take a lot of work off your shoulders and make your work easier, so that you have more time for the necessary things.
Challenges we ran into
We are students who have paid for all developments from our own savings and would like to support the everyday hero with our invention and say thank you for your work. However, we also have our financial and professional limits, so we are looking for:
collaboration in S2/3 (Safety level 2 and 3 for Viruses) laboratory to prove the efficiency of our innovation against the SARS-CoV-2
filtering tests of face masks after disinfection treatment
multidisciplinary collaboration with laboratories, hospitals, police departments, nursing home and schools, who can be involved in expanding this concept
Support and Exchange with other Founders
consulting in preparation and implementation in the field of medical certification
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very, very proud to have developed the RefresherBoxx with our own savings, so that we can now offer this invention as a support for the common good of society, as planned, at production price. We are also very pleased that we are now able to discuss with various governmental organizations how to use the RefresherBoxx. We are very grateful for the recognition of our RefresherBoxx through science awards and innovation prizes.
What we learned
We love sharing thoughts. We are convinced that only through a lively positive and constructive exchange of information can we push the world in which we currently live towards the dream world in which we ourselves would like to live. It is time to apply what you have learned and explored. We firmly believe that sufficient knowledge has already been gained to solve many current problems. The realization of an idea requires a lot of optimism and a firm belief in miracles; because we were often faced with solutions that were unsolvable for us, but we often met experts at various founding events by chance, who happened to have a solution for our problem ready. The founder's life is a give and take. Sometimes you help others and very often you are presented with gratitude and often with solutions to your own problems.
What's next for RefresherBoxx
- Collaboration in S2/3 (Safety level 2 and 3 for Viruses) laboratory to prove the efficiency of our RefresherBoxx Health Care against the SARS-CoV-2
- Filtering tests of face masks after disinfection treatment
- Multidisciplinary collaboration with laboratories, hospitals, police departments, nursing home and schools, who can be involved in expanding this concept
- Consulting in preparation and implementation in the field of medical certification
- Development of the production line