If you have ever traveled to parts of Europe, South America, or Asia, you probably have encountered a bidet. Bidets are used in these cultures to provide a more hygienic way to clean yourself after you use the bathroom. Many people across the world are accustomed to bidets and find it very hard to adapt in the United States without them. That is why Naseerullah Khan (Col '20), Muhammad Ahmad (Comm’20), and Hayatullah Khan (Lehigh University) set out to create a portable handheld bidet with their company, Lotta.
The idea for Lotta came through the founder’s struggles while traveling abroad to places that did not have bidets. "I went to visit a friend in London," Hayat explains, "He did not have a jet stream bidet like we use back home. Instead, he used a water bottle with holes in it and tried to make do with that." Hayat understood that this was a problem for many people and knew there had to be a solution out there.
According to Naseer, many people resort to using toilet paper, water bottles, and cleaning wipes when they travel, which are not as hygienic and don’t adequately substitute for a bidet.
Lotta is a portable, hand-held bidet that allows users to clean themselves through providing sufficient water pressure and familiarity while they travel abroad. These bidets are designed for use in airports, at restaurants, or in dorms for international college students living in the US.
“Other products on the market do not provide the necessary pressure to get the job done," Naseer claims. "Their nozzles are really small, which results in getting your thighs and the toilet wet." Lotta aims to provide a continuous flow of water that is more centered and controlled compared to other products.
Currently, the Lotta team is targeting customers that are already in the habit of using bidets. However, they want to gain traction with Americans and introduce bidets into the American lifestyle as well.
Over the past few weeks in the i.Lab, the team has used a 3D printer to design and custom make the parts they need. Now they are working on perfecting their design so it can be tested by a few customers.
The word Lotta originated in the rural areas of Pakistan and is the word for the type of bidet that is used in those areas. These bidets date back to many centuries ago but are still used today in areas without running water (pictured on the right). The team is essentially modernizing the Lotta and thus thought it was the perfect name for their device.
I think the Lotta team is solving a real problem for many international college students and travelers alike. I could easily see this product sold in airport kiosks and travel stores around the world.