HERNDON, Va.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--WaterVest’s goal is to solve the "last mile" problem of water transportation; to provide water sufficient for small groups and families while reducing time, logistics, disease spread and environmental burden.
“All in all, this is a really good way to carry water. Much better than buckets”
As part of the development process we need to test and evaluate at each stage so we can finalize an effective design prior to taking the next step of mass production. Current prototypes are being produced by hand which is time consuming and not an efficient means of large scale production, but the best way to assess the design before making a major investment in tooling.
WaterVest partner, Infinitum Humanitarian Systems, has put WaterVest prototypes through a variety of tests to provide critical feedback necessary to begin mass manufacturing. “All in all, this is a really good way to carry water. Much better than buckets,” one researcher said during field testing in Lake Arrowhead, CA. IHS, who used one-gallon resealable plastic bags on previous deployments, applauded the ease in which WaterVest could be transported from clean water source to final destination.
Testing provided us the opportunity to see the way the vest fits on and moves with a varied subset of subjects. From testing, we were able to make three significant changes to improve usability:
1. Based on feedback was the addition of two more fill spouts at the shoulders, not just neck and chest. The additional two spouts will provide the user with more options to fill and empty the vest.
2. A two-inch removable strip was added to the bottom of each WaterVest that can be used for tying them together. With this simple addition, users now have a ready-made material for tying and securing the vests. Better securing the vest decreases the amount of sloshing water from one side to the other.
3. To further improve stability, a slight ‘W’ baffle was added to the bottom of each WaterVest. The ‘W’ shape redirects water which forces the water to distribute more evenly throughout each side of the vest.
Testing performance in the field, but without lives depending on their functioning, allows WaterVest to improve the design, reduce cost, and ensure a better design when it matters most: when lives depend on it.