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Warm Feet Mat is essentially a self-drying mat powered by a rechargeable battery. "The mat contains weight sensors that switch on an uninterrupted 15-minute heating cycle once someone steps on it," says Tadas Kaminskas, one of the authors of the invention.
Tadas and his course-mate at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) Benas Garbinčius came up with the idea as their course project.
"We know from experience that many domestic conflicts get triggered by a wet bathroom mat," Garbinčius says.
"We differ from our competitors in that our mat is heated, but it is not plugged into the grid. It means there are no wires that could present a hazard in wet bathrooms. Our mat is safe and reliable."
The mat can be recharged with a simple USB cable, he explains. It is fully charged in eight to nine hours and can last a week in a household where the bathroom is used four times a day.
The students say their idea has caught the attention of several international companies, most notably of UK-based Green Life Solutions.
Tadas and Benas developed their product on a limited budget, designing and making the mat themselves and printing the casing for electronic components on a 3D printer.
"We wish to further develop the mat, not to abandon this idea. We now need funding for further development, preparation for mass production and market research," Garbinčius says.
Next on their to-do list is shooting a promotional video to be used for crowd-funding campaigns.
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