Passion for Innovation Sparks Touch2O Technology®

Meet the man who was instrumental in developing Touch2O Technology®, an innovation that has changed the face—and flow—of faucets.

Growing up on a farm in Fort Wayne, Ind., young Bob Rodenbeck was a big believer in twine. “I’d use it to make all sorts of elaborate means of moving things with pulley systems inside the barn,” he says. His inventions grew more sophisticated when he learned electronics through 4-H Club, a national youth development program. “You hooked things up, and when they started working, you got a magical type of feeling.”

Person of Interest

This electrical engineer-marketer-innovator, whose early projects included an electronic missile safe-and-arm device, gets a thrill reading about other creative people. His favorite? Steve Jobs. “He combined design and technology and had vision—he knew what consumers wanted without doing a lot of research.”

Bob’s the Guy with the Fake Mustache Talking into his Lapel

When Rodenbeck, the director of research and technology at Delta Faucet, goes to his local hardware store, he heads to the faucet aisle. “When Touch2O Technology® first came out in 2008, I used to go incognito to the stores and ask the sales associates, ‘What’s this Touch2O® thing and what can you tell me about it?’ That was a lot of fun!”

Say What?

Rodenbeck gets a kick out of surprising people. In the mid-2000s, he introduced Touch2O Technology® at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “We were there with Microsoft and other high-tech companies, and we were the hit of the show,” he remembers. “I would just sit there and tap the faucet on and off and people would walk by and let out a cuss word: ‘Holy ----!’ ‘What the ----?’ When you can elicit emotions like that, it’s a delight.”