Hugo de Gentile Teases Robot That Will Replace Your Toothbrush

The entrepreneur has spent four years developing an automated system to bring ‘the best clean to absolutely everyone’. And it’s almost ready.

14.06.2019 | by Christy Romer
Photo by S&B Vonlanthen on Unsplash
Photo by S&B Vonlanthen on Unsplash

Entrepreneur Hugo de Gentile has a problem with standard toothbrushes: they’re not efficient enough. Regular versions typically clean just 42% of dental plaque, he says; electric designs don’t even reach 50%.

So in 2014, alongside Ilan Abehassera and dentist Jean-Marie de Gentile, he founded ‘Willo’ — a futuristic healthtech startup dedicated to finding an oral hygiene solution fit for the 21st Century.

And now the professional dreamer — who writes that his company’s driving belief is that the people of earth “are not done yet building the most enjoyable, beautiful, peaceful place ever” — has helped develop a new machine that he says will bring a “scientifically perfect oral care experience” to people of all backgrounds.

“People aren’t perfect, and we love it,” Willo’s website reads. “It’s the diversity in shapes, sizes and abilities of people that inspired us to create a machine to help bring the best clean to absolutely everyone.”

Much about the dental robot remains under wraps, with only one image available, but Techcrunch reports that the company has raised $7.5m in funding — from backers including Kleiner Perkins and bpifrance.


The company also claims that its robot can clean teeth four times faster than an electric toothbrush.

“While I’m captivated by any work of positive impact, Health is my number one thrill,” de Gentile adds, speaking as Willo. “More exactly, Dental Health, a window to the rest of our body that remains an important source of trouble.

“My interest for that field is only natural. I was born in a dental office and became a dentist. It quickly got clear what my life-mission would be: Ensure perfect dental health for everyone.”

The charismatic entrepreneur, who holds an MSc in Management and Corporate Finance from the EMYLON Business School and spent time as a Financial Analyst at BNP Paribas, promises to announce more for consumers to sink their teeth into soon.

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