SWEET Roller

Develop a prototype for the transportation and sterilization of water

In 2018, I co-founded a team of engineers and designers to tackle the prevalent water crisis and solve some of the problems that manifest in rural, impoverished communities around the world. The team came to be called Project SWEET and we quickly became subject-matter experts on the technical and societal aspects of water. We examined the role that water plays in the lives of vulnerable populations and defined the problem in two parts – transportation and sterilization of water.

First SWEET roller prototype

To address this problem statement, we developed the SWEET Roller: a 75-liter rolling barrel that uses the kinetic energy of being rolled to-and-from the water source to sterilize the contents of the barrel using ultraviolet radiation. The solution came as part of our primary and secondary research conducted with countless hours of work put into generating the conclusions and insights presented on this site.

To develop the SWEET Roller prototype, I used laser cutting, 3D printing, and other hands-on fabrication techniques. Through this project I honed my craft in translating user research into a physical consumer product.

Fit test for part validation
Hands-on prototyping
SWEET roller in use
SWEET roller energy flow diagram


Image of Paula Perez

Paula Perez

Paula Perez, co-founder of Project SWEET, is a student in mechanical engineering, now studying at the University of Colorado - Boulder. She moved to the United States from Colombia to study but her heart is close to home when it comes to solving complex social issues.

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Daniela Cadena

Daniela Cadena, co-founder of Project SWEET, has a bachelors in business administration, marketing, and international business from Florida International University as well as a masters in international relations from IE Business School. As an entrepreneur she discovered her commitment to solving social problems through profit-driven models.

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Gianfranco Colombi

Gianfranco Colombi has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University with a focus in Music Technology and Aerodynamics. He is certified in Neo4j Graph Databases, Design Thinking, Cisco Cybersecurity, Machine Learning, Unity for Augmented Reality.