Since childhood I've always harbored a joy for watering the garden or washing the car with a garden hose. Perhaps it's the memories of Slip 'n Slide summers, sipping from hose after a game of tag, or maybe days helping my dad wash the car.
But give me a hose and point me to somewhere to water or a car to wash, and I'm there like I'm 8 years old all over again. Unfortunately, unless you've got great patience, and even better coordination, putting away a wet and dirty garden hose can be testing. That is, unless you have a genuine Italian made automatic hose reel...
At $199, I'd put the RotoRoll Automatic Hose Reel
in the same category as noise-canceling headphones or the Vita-Mix blender: an admittedly expensive luxury you'll probably never regret buying. It's almost SkyMall ridiculous. Yet, I think I might still want to get one of these for my 70 year old mother who still enjoys watering her succulent garden and lawn, but avoids putting away the hose. I worry she'll trip and hurt herself one day; it just lays there like a large green snake in the grass just inviting an accident.
The rewind system inside the RotoRoll handles every task of controlling the retraction action of the hose in a quiet and controlled manner
[video], preventing an overly fast rewind, and guiding the hose neatly back into place. The system looks almost like something you'd see used by the pit crew for a formula 1 driver, but all you'll be using it for is to water your begonias, albeit in Italian style!
Another route down the highway to the danger zone: extension cords in the garage. The RoboReel Power Cord System
appears to be the sturdy cousin of the geekier (and retired) Google Nexus Q
. Just like the RotoRoll, the
RoboReel handles wind up duty automatically, a motor driven system powered by a 180V DC motor safely coils up a three outlet extension cord.
It gets even more interesting once the unit is ceiling or wall mounted, keeping the extension cord handy with 360 degree rotation, all with a safer two-speed retraction action (fast at first, slow as it nears completion) similar to high-end vacuum cleaner power cords. I could see this coming in handy for those days I'm invited by my mom for honey-do tasks where I need to plug in, like trimming the front garden hedges or vacuuming the car inside the garage (alas, as a renter with only a carport, I can only live vicariously through my home-owning mother for now).