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With reports that coronavirus pathogens may last on surfaces for up to 72 hours, more people are looking for innovative devices or tools to minimise contact.
Touco is a tool that can be used on public shared surfaces so users can avoid touching with their bare hands. It is designed for multiple uses, from pushing buttons to opening doors, as a hook to carring shopping bags, and it even works as a stylus on digital screens for purposes such as signing for deliveries.
Touco, which can be 3D-printed, has a case with key ring and the combination of the two objects (the tool and the case) builds the shape of a toucan, the tropical colored bird, to remember happy journeys done before the strange and sad period of the quarantine. These two characteristics make it extremely suitable for the period because it can be produced at low cost at home, and it is attentive to the psychological aspect created by COVID-19. A little healthy irony and a good dose of beauty and color can only do well to soften the feeling of disorientation, change of habits and home segregation.
The case allows to store the tool after use and prevents the newly arrived microorganism from passing from one surface to another, in a bag or a pocket, before sanitizing.
The material it is made out of, PLActive , is inherently antimicrobial, which helps decrease the risk of spreading germs while people continue to perform their everyday tasks amid the pandemic, but Touco works well even with normal PLA due to the presence of the insulating case. In addition, it can be 100% biodegradable(PLActive) or recyclable(PLA), though the tool itself will also ensure a great resistance.
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Departamento de Arquitetura da Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra