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Toolbot: Professional tools for short-term rental in Neukölln

Professional tools for short-term hire could replace rarely-used, privately-owned tools of low quality. At least that’s the plan of ‘Toolbot’, a new project in Berlin.

Tool sharing at Hermannplatz? (Rendering: Press Toolbot)

Four and a half hours. That’s how long a combination drill bought for private purposes is used, on average, in its entire lifetime between purchase and disposal as electronic scraps. There are, after all, not that many occasions to dowel a shelf to the wall or screw together a loft bed. Particularly since cheap tools bought in discount supermarkets don’t hold up very well. Their motors overheat, switches fail, batteries don’t charge anymore.

But Jan Gerlach and Christian Lehmann think that amateurs DIYers need good tools more than anyone. The industrial designer and mechanical engineer are part of the start-up thingk.systems. With their ‘Toolbot’, the company have recently installed the first tool-rental machine in Berlin. After registering on the website, users can pick from a selection of seven professional electrical tools: from angle grinders to drill hammers and circular saws. After making a reservation, the tools can be picked up from the pilot station at, rather interestingly, a Hermannplatz Späti. Christian Lehmann argues that this saves resources that would otherwise go towards the production of barely used, inferior equipment. And working with a professional machine should, in theory, be far more successful. Rental costs one euro per hour for the first six hours, then fifty cents per hour for the remainder of the time.

After this first Späti Toolbot, more rental machines are set to follow, first in other Spätis, and later in other places such as U-Bahn stations (see simulation above). The company also wants to post tutorials with practical instructions on their website in the future.

Address: Spätkauf ‘Kiosk’, Hermannplatz 4, Neukölln | Open 24 hrs

Directions: U-Bahn station Hermannplatz


Translated by Aida Baghernejad


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