WOTA BOX is the world’s first portable water recycling plant, and reuses more than 98% of domestic wastewater from showers, hand-washing, and laundry — enabling water use without conventional infrastructure. the autonomous, decentralized water upcycling system and outdoor shower kit has been selected by the japan institute of design promotion as the GOOD DESIGN award 2020 grand award winner. unique sensors and built-in AI technology control both the water and wastewater treatment. WOTA BOX is a human and environment-friendly water infrastructure for the future that makes abundant water use available to everyone, everywhere.
WOTA BOX, an autonomous, decentralized water upcycling system and outdoor shower kit
‘while electricity, water, communications, and various other lifelines support our lifestyles, they also have constraints,’ the GOOD DESIGN award 2020 jury evaluation states. ‘how would our lives change if this infrastructure became portable? people might have more freedom to choose where they live and in areas lacking the financial resources to build infrastructure grids, it might become possible to create living environments with just a small amount of investment. WOTA is an innovative initiative aimed at introducing a recycling system to the water sector, which has been lagging behind in the areas of liberalization and decentralization. centered on a specially developed water quality sensor and ai technology, the filtering system is due to be further refined and will likely contribute to the emergence of products and services in the future. we hope that the creators of this system will look beyond its use in response to disasters to cultivate new infrastructure that will transform the relationship between people, water, and the environment.’
carry WOTA BOX anywhere, and set it up in 15 minutes
in july 2018, a major flood struck the town of mabi in okayama prefecture and many evacuees were forced to spend days without access to a shower, despite the intense summer. in a country subject to many natural disasters, the option of taking a shower is not always available at most evacuation shelters. therefore, the team at WOTA envisioned a design and technology-enabled future where access to clean water could be available for everyone, everywhere — even in cases of emergencies. the WOTA BOX + outdoor shower kit is the company’s first step to realize its mission. WOTA has been working on its water recycling system since 2014 and provided shower services in the 2016 kumamoto earthquake, the 2018 japan floods, and the 2018 hokkaido eastern iburi earthquake. more than 10,000 people have used its showers at evacuation shelters.
the team adopted a tent system for the shower that provides a clean and private space
WOTA BOX’s unique AI-enabled, automated system is designed to provide not only quality water, but also an easy user experience. using a reverse osmosis membrane, the WOTA BOX is capable of filtering soaps and shampoo.
meanwhile, the team adopted a tent system for the shower that provides a clean and private space that is easy to store and transport in emergency situations. setup is easy and fast in just 15 minutes, making it optimal for usage at disaster sites and shelters. no complicated piping is needed, and built-in pumps save time and effort — just plug in the tubes and power cord, and press the power button. furthermore, the system is equipped with a smart diagnosis feature, a safety stop feature, and a help guide in case of emergencies.
more than 10,000 people have used its showers at evacuation shelters
finally, in thinking about the water recycling system of the future, WOTA designed the system so that water can be reused many times by running it through five stages of filters. it achieves high water quality and purification efficiency with a unique array of sensors and AI technology. by treating used water on-site, it can be conserved, making it a human and environmentally-friendly water recycling system. while an average shower uses 40 to 50 liters of water, WOTA BOX is capable of offering showers for up to 100 people with just 100 liters of water.
WOTA BOX’s unique AI-enabled, automated system provides an easy user experience
‘a relaxing, private shower. there are public baths opened up for free, and I’m really thankful of that, but they’re always really crowded and was never able to relax. I was able to relax being able to take a shower alone.’ — voice of a user
‘I’m really grateful of being able to take a shower near the shelter. since I can’t walk too far, I wasn’t able to visit the baths the japan self-defense forces had provided us very often. I’m really grateful of being able to take a shower near the shelter like this.’ — voice of a user
setup is easy and fast, making it optimal for usage at disaster sites and shelters.
WOTA designed the system so that water can be reused many times by running it through five stages of filters
award-winning item: autonomous, decentralized water upcyling system [WOTA BOX]
business owner: WOTA corp.
category: social infrastructure system / infrastructure
company: WOTA corp. (japan)
producer: yosuke maeda, WOTA corp.
director: ryo yamada, WOTA corp; shouhei okudera, WOTA corp.
designer: UI/ UX design: kenji takemura, WOTA corp; graphic design: yumi emura, WOTA corp; industrial design: morihito saigusa/ shu kanno, 346. inc
the GOOD DESIGN award was founded in 1957 by the japanese ministry of international trade and industry and is hosted by the japan institute for design promotion. the ‘g mark’ emblem reflects comprehensive design values and principles that aim to enrich lives, industries and society.
nina azzarello I designboom
nov 17, 2020