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Central Japan firm devises 'no touch' device for hands-free door opening

Keiichi Sugiyama, head of Takion, is seen demonstrating the "no touch" device at his company, in Anjo, Aichi Prefecture, on May 12, 2020. (Mainichi/Takafumi Watanabe)

ANJO, Aichi -- A manufacturer of prototype parts in this city in central Japan is marketing a "no touch" product enabling people to open doors without having to touch a handle to do so.

Takion set about making the device after employees at the company began expressing their fears of potentially contracting the novel coronavirus from contact infection if they handled a doorknob previously touched by someone carrying the virus. Imagining such a scenario, many workers said they didn't want to touch any door handles, and that it would be better if there was a way they could open them just with their feet.

The product comprises a pedal that is attached to the bottom part of a door. When pressed, it pulls a wire leading to a lever fixed to the doorknob. The lever then comes down, thereby turning the handle and opening the door. The handle unit developed by the company is compatible with round doorknobs with a diameter of between 4.8 and 5.2 centimeters.

A single device costs 10,780 yen including tax. The company's head, Keiichi Sugiyama, said, "It has a wide range of uses, including at factories, with bathroom doors used by multiple unknown persons, and at offices." For questions regarding the product, call Takion on 0566-99-4368 (Japanese language only).

(Japanese original by Takafumi Watanabe, Okazaki Local Bureau)

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