Look, no hands! South Island firm invents ingenious sanitiser dispenser

Maheno School principal Ryan Fraser tries out the foot-operated dispenser made by Oamaru’s Anvil...
Maheno School principal Ryan Fraser tries out the foot-operated dispenser made by Oamaru’s Anvil Engineers, which will be used in some North Otago schools and cafes from next week. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON
If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it is how to apply hand sanitiser.

But from today, children attending Maheno School will be putting their foot down in this regard.

The North Otago school will be using a system designed by Oamaru engineering firm Anvil Engineers.

It is a 1m high, foot-operated steel hand sanitiser dispenser designed to hold a 90mm diameter bottle of the product, the size supplied to schools.

Anvil Engineers workshop manager Ross Hayes said he had a good idea of how the finished dispenser would look, and ran with it.

"I thought ‘right, that’s a quick and simple mechanism’.

"The whole idea right from the start was to do them not rough, but within a budget. They had to be, primarily, affordable and effective."

When a pedal is pushed, a pushrod raises the bottle and a stop above that pushes the nozzle down.

For Mr Ross, the idea is far from being a money-making venture.

"We are not making any money out of it as such."

It had proved popular and in addition to Maheno School, south of Oamaru, which first requested it, Oamaru Intermediate and Totara Schools had also ordered them, as had two Oamaru cafes.



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