Sam HATTIN: Inventor of “The Roommate”

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  • Tell us something about your self and your background?

Since my days of watching Shark Tank growing up, I was always intrigued with new inventions that solve and improve everyday problems.

As a marketing and sales professional for 4 years with a growing startup, I had the opportunity to take on many other roles and tasks within the business aside from my title position. Design and product development was one of those tasks that helped me realize my passion for creating new products and exploring what is possible. 

  • Tell us about the products you invented with a brief explanation

The Roommate is the world’s most convenient and hygienic mopping system that solves the 3 key issues with mopping today.

  1. Convenient Storage
  2. Long setup times
  3. Unhygienic disposal (touching dirty pads)

We developed a patent-pending ‘Flex-joint’ that not only has a unique and attractive design but also allows for optimal mopping functionality and most importantly the ability to eject a dirty mop pad into the trash, without touching it. The Roommate sits in a holder atop a stack of Mop pads and automatically attaches itself to the top pad it sits on, so it’s always ready to pick up and clean.

The first product I invented that lead to the Roommate was called The Pottymop. The Pottymop is a miniature version of the Roommate that fits perfectly in any bathroom. This allows users to quickly clean any surface of their bathroom and keeps their hands clean. We will be releasing this as our second product to market under a new name in 2022.

  • How/Why did you start inventing?

While working at a small startup company, I came across the everyday issue of cleaning up after my workmates (specifically the bathroom), as we were a small company of 5 and left to clean up for our selves. I hated the inconvenience of cleaning and touching other peoples dirty mess, this is what sparked my idea for a hands-free hygienic mop.

  • How did you get from idea to finished product?

I needed to prove my idea with a basic concept model, so I started with a trip to the dollar store and local hardware store to pick up a miniature mop, springs, and small metal rod. That was enough to hack, saw and glue my way to a working proof of concept prototype mop. I created the mop pads out of paper towel and glue.

Once I had the proof of concept model complete, I hired a 3D printing company to help me design and build my first real prototype. This model still used a standard joint and had some serious flaws.

I contacted my local college’s innovation center and presented my product and business plan. I was awarded a joint grant from the government and college to help develop my idea into a real product. I worked hands-on with my team of 2 engineers to develop our ‘Flex-joint’.

As the work with product development continued, I contacted a patent lawyer to review the product and run a patent search to see if what I invented was truly unique.

Once The Roommate was developed, I began searching for manufacturers in China for my mop and mop pads. Once those relationships were established we began building the injection moulds for both the mop and the pads and have finally arrived with a finished product.

Throughout the entire product development process, I worked on marketing and branding so we would be ready for product launch.

  • Let us know useful resources that helped you

The most helpful resource I used and continue to use is google. There is a lot of learning when it comes to product development for very specific questions and google has all of the resources to learn. I also listen everyday to business podcasts such as Entrepreneur On Fire, How I built This, Inventors Launchpad.

  • Where are you with your product?

We are currently manufacturing our first run of products with our factories and have collected $7,000 worth of preorders for our March 2021 launch. Customers will be able to go on our website in March and purchase their Roommate Starterkit and 24 Mop Pad Refills with 2-day shipping.

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