SWITL is a hydrophobic goop scooper
It’s not often we see a video so amazing we “ooh” and “aah” and watch it five times in a row, but that’s what we did with this mind-boggling video of the SWITL, a device that scoops up gooey messes without leaving a drop behind, and can replace the goop to its exact state, too. The company behind SWITL, Furukawa Kikou, haven’t actually released any information about the mysterious device, perhaps because it’s still waiting for a patent.
The video shows the robot hand scooping up a ketchup and mayonnaise mess. The mess can even be moved intact to another location. Engadget says the technology was developed for bakeries to automate the handling of soft substances that were too malleable for human hands. In a video on Furukawa’s website, you can see the dough-processing line in action.
Since Furukawa Kikou isn’t divulging its secrets, many YouTube commenters, as well as Endgadet, are led to believe it’s some kind of sorcery, or Satan’s work until otherwise confirmed.
Pink Tentacle says the tool appears to incorporate a conveyor belt design. It says that according to the company, its unique ability to cleanly handle semi-liquids makes it a good tool for a wide range of applications, not just in a bakery.
It appears to be a sort of conveyor belt contraption that works with a frictionless material — maybe Teflon or silicone? — so that the food doesn’t get stuck. We think it may be two hyrdrophobic surfaces (the scooper and the table). Hydrophobicity, in chemistry terms, is the physical property of a molecule that’s repelled from a mass of water. Hydrophobic molecules are usually non-polar, and prefer other neutral molecules and non-polar solvents. Think of oil, for example. It floats on top of water, but hydrophobic materials are often used to remove oil from water.
According to IOPscience, a platform for IOP-hosted journal content, an efficient routine has been reported for making polyethylene superhydropobic and self-cleaning material, meaning 99 percent of dirt absorbed on the surface is easily washed away.
Alternatively, many YouTube commenters think it’s fake, and Photoshopped, as there’s a little black spot above the last “k” in “furukawakiko.com” around the 2:08 mark that is gone when the camera replaces the mess.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think. Is it fake or real?