One of the first words in my Swiss German vocabulary between Grüetzi and Chuchichäschtli was Robidog.
Now, Robidog is not some kind of robotic canine or Robocop sequel. But, the chihuahua looking small dog with innocent black eyes has the patented mission to Keep Switzerland cleaner on the ground level!
Robidog has long become synonymous with "dog poop receptacle" here in Switzerland. But it was not always this way: Initially, professional carpenter and inventor Joseph Rosenast was not taken seriously when he invented the green boxes in 1981.
Just in case, in 1982, the father of all Robidogs expanded his vision by patenting the system for all of Europe. Meanwhile, the name "Robidog" was registered as an international trademark. Another successful contribution to Switzerland, the largest patent holder in the world.
Only three years after filing for the patent, the city of Zurich had already placed an order for 50 Robidog toilets. And by now, more than 1600 communities across Switzerland are using 40’000 of these green boxes for the clean collection of canine waste! The perfect shade of green was selected to camouflage the waste box in the fields, forests, and along hiking paths...
By the way, the name Robidog is composed of the inventor's last name "Rosenast" and the word "dog".
Just like any innovative product, Robidog also faces competitors and knockoffs: The terrier from Bravo, the beagle from Bellco, and other goofies.
I have been so obsessed to spot them all that Dimitri got embarassed to go for a walk with me! Enough is enough, and I am ready to share my collection with you all:
Of course, there is always a master in any discipline. When it comes to Robidog, I was so happy to discover that those colorful bags made it into the Gewerbemuseum in Winterthur! (The exhibit provided a critical look at plastic in this world.) I hope to someday see biodegradable Robidog plastic bags. Now, that would be truly Swiss!
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