“motion sensors” … snork
Just add a bit of tritium to your coffee and make your own light show…
Woot had one of those fancy bidet toilet seats the other day… It featured a rig of LED lights all around the rim.
A tritium capsule cemented to the bottom of the bowl would be a sufficient target.
Would have to be combined with some scintillator. And the weak beta emissions would have to be taken into account, the energy is pretty low.
That could work. They can be bought on eBay for an affordable price.
Buy one, extract it from its housing. Use a diamond mill on a dremel to make a matching groove in the ceramics. Put the capsule in, seal with epoxy. Make the surface smooth and flush with the ceramics, for easier cleaning. Optionally fill the epoxy with glass microbeads to make it harder and more wear-resistant while staying transparent or at least translucent.
Some easy to apply self-cleaning coating would be handy. These are a bit tricky as they often rely on nanostructured surface which is prone to wear. Perhaps there are some that wear in a way that exposes further layers that are properly structured? (Could this be achieved as a layered nanocomposite with wear-resistant layers that are patterned for the functionality and easy wearing or dissolving or corroding layers that are just a filler in the pattern? Scratch or wear would then merely expose a fresh material that quickly regains the surface pattern that’s needed.
Retinal damage vs germicidal effect aren’t identical. You can get eye damage from wavelengths (at sufficient exposure/intensity) that will leave germs just giggling on their way to next cell division. And LEDs of low power aren’t that bad, safety-wise.
The moulded lights would work. The flush charging would be probably way more tricky than just attaching it to a power supply, or using solar panels and harvest light energy. The whole assembly could then be potted in a transparent plastic.
…also, comments for the original article. (Edit: to the one from @PPK. Sorry.)
Not sure what the zirconium in the glaze is for. The titanium dioxide is a bog-standard photocatalyst. The UV LEDs are a bog standard kind. With a doped titania even blue light could be used.
Edit: Apparently the (Zr,Ti)O2 is more active than titania alone.
The surface works the same way as the self-cleaning windows. I think the journos got it wrong (surprise surprise) and misunderstood superhydrophilic as superhydrophobic.
The “proprietary process” that makes the bleach from electrolysis of water (I assume saltwater is used, or chloride, most likely sodium chloride, is added) is again a bog standard way to oxidize the chloride to chlorine, which disproportionates back to chloride and hypochlorite ions. The hypochlorite is the active principle here, like in “real” bleach. Proprietary my ass. The most innovative thing there is most likely the way to monitor the electrolysis process to make it perform correctly, assuming they are actually bothering to use a closed-loop control and not just relying on pushing x charge carriers through the cell and hoping for the best. Even that is a bog-standard textbook-grade electrochemistry, perhaps with some interesting tricks to avoid/mitigate fouling of the electrodes.
Edit: Thought. For that insane cost they could throw in a Raman spectrum imager into the lid, and laser-scan the turd before flushing it and detect the spectral signatures correlated to illnesses. Early detection of occult bleeding (no, it is not a satanist sacrifice, it’s the other kind) would be pretty handy on its own, and the haemoglobine-associated porphyrins could provide a pretty good signature.
Why not try a superhydrophobic coating like this:
If your tub’s surface doesn’t allow water to touch it, then it can’t really grow mold at all.
Heh, “bog-standard”. See what you did there, Yoda does.
Having spent a few weeks holidaying in Japan last summer, an upgrade for my UK issue bog-standard bog is definitely on my to do list. Just need to find a retailer that imports the fancy ones…
The bath is a thing that makes you clean. Ergo, it is intrinsically clean in and of itself and cannot need cleaning. Logic, see?
(no, my bathroom isn’t very nice)
Late Stage Capitalism
As a DIY project I’d agree, but if you’re doing manufacture it’d be far simpler to have it all enclosed in one system. A simple turbine just prior to the outlet in the cistern could recharge a sealed battery moulded inside the cistern, with the wires running through the seat hinges.
Multi-colour LEDs controlled by a dial near the flush handle could allow a change of mood, from aqua calm, to red frenzy.
A flush-actuated turbine is problematic. You need a lot of velocity to wash the crap off the walls. Turbine in the flow will extract energy and slow the flow down.
Better put the turbine to the inlet of the tank. You can take all the energy from the water pressure in the pipes, the tank doesn’t care about how fast the water flows in. So pressure->speed->electricity.
There are showerheads that use this embedded generator with LEDs mechanism.
But we’d need some sensor, as the LEDs may need more power than the energy in the water flow, especially if the toilet is not in a high duty. May be alleviated by a sensor.
Could be hooked to some telemetry and use the frenzy red when imminent diarrhea is detected.
Much better idea.
I disagree with the sensor though. That’s what the battery pack is for. A buffer and regulator. The flushing’s just a trickle-charge.
For those occult scenarios.
That depends on the energy balance. I suspect the LEDs will eat more energy than the flushing tank replenishment will be able to provide, assuming some sane duty cycle of the installation.
They could have a touch-sensor in the lid, or a light-sensor in the cistern, so they’re only activated when in use, but that may defeat the point if you’d prefer your toilet glowing in the darkness on its own.
Yup. Needs to be active when the user is away.
Or maybe a motion sensor, possibly coupled with a sensor on the door.