Woof to wash

Disabled people using canine helpers have been handed a lifeline thanks to a revolutionary washing machine - which is activated by a dog's bark. The 'Woof to Wash' enables dogs to unlock the machine with a footpad and start it with a simple woof.

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'Woof to wash' to make lives easier

A washing machine - which can be operated by the bark of a dog - has been developed to help people with disabilities.

The Sheffield charity, Support Dogs, is working with the animals to teach them to control the machine - to help their owners who have problems operating a standard washer.

The device's inventor, John Middleton, says the idea came together within a few weeks of inception.

Woof to wash

A specially trained dog operates the woof to wash machine Credit: Press Association

Disabled people using canine helpers have been handed a lifeline thanks to a revolutionary washing machine developed in Sheffield - which is activated by a dog's bark.

The 'Woof to Wash' enables specially trained dogs - which can already strip beds, fill laundry baskets, load and empty washing machines - to unlock the machine with a bespoke footpad and start it with a simple woof.

A doggy footpad and a microphone have been added which recognise a dog's bark.

This means that dogs are able to unlock the machine by pressing the pad with their paw, pull a rope with their mouths to open the machine, close the machine again with their nose, before activating the cycle by barking.

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