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Fun power-generating urinal

Image credit: Pictures taken and edited from: https://www.washroomhygiene.co.in/new-products/ and https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-08-24-call-of-duty-modern-warfare-players-are-unsure-about-the-screen-turning-black-and-white-when-youre-nearly-dead

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Juranium Nov 12, 2021
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Necessity

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If you are a man, you definitely found yourself using the urinal. While using it, you probably did all kinds of challenges (aiming for the holes, leaving no area dry, playing football, ...). What if you could generate electricity?
The idea is to create a urinal that has a pad with a bunch of small turbines or rotors that you can run/spin by precise aiming. The rotational force would be turned into electricity and turn on the small display which would show you the amount of power generated. Depending on the place you aim, you would be able to send a different signal to the system. The users could compete in games played by the aimed spot (position) and the force (strength of the signal) generated by using the urinal.
Also, every urinal could be customized to use the electricity to power the specific game/task:
  • a simple "shooting" game
  • disco lights
  • play a predefined song
  • measure the temperature
  • show time and date
  • show sport results or btc price
  • etc
The pad could also be used as a urinal deodorizer.
Is there something like this already on the market?
Most of the "interactive urinals" or "urinal games" are powered devices connected to the urinal that entertain you while you do your stuff. They are expensive and consume energy even when there is no one in the bathroom.
The advantage of the above-described idea is that it could be installed in every urinal and wouldn't require new electricity wires or the complete redesign of the bathroom. Also, I couldn't find a peeing force-powered urinal on the market.
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Creative contributions

Adding useful health-related features

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Juranium Nov 13, 2021
Concerning the fact that urine tests are common in medicine and healthcare, several health-related tests can be powered by the generated electricity:
  • visual inspection - detection of infection by visual assessment of urine (cloudiness vs clear sample)
  • acidity test - pH can indicate kidney or urinary tract problems
  • detection of sugars and ketones - high sugar or ketones can be a possible sign of diabetes
  • EPI test for high-grade prostate cancer - a urine exosome gene expression assay that can suggest doing prostate biopsies
  • it is included in 2019 PC Early Detection National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines and provides a risk score that discriminates benign/low-grade PC (Grade Group, GG1, ≤15.6) from HGPC (GG2+, >15.6) for men aged ≥50 who are in the PSA “gray zone” (2–10 ng/mL)
  • there is another interesting test, called MyProstateScore, that could be used for the same purpose
  • 5-molecule Fertility test - researcher found five molecules (leukotriene E4, 3-hydroxypalmitoylcarnitine, aspartate, xanthosine, and methoxytryptophan) whose relative concentrations in a urine sample allowed them to correctly identify 86% of the infertile men and 87% of the fertile men
These features could be a stand-alone features or paired with urinal game. The most important thing would be to speed-up the time required to get the results and point out the level of confidence for the generated information, depending on the alcohol consumption, sterileness of the urinal, etc.

[1]https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/urinalysis/about/pac-20384907

[2]https://www.nature.com/articles/s41391-020-0237-z

[3]https://www.auajournals.org/doi/10.1097/JU.0000000000001430

[4]https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/pr5003142?source=cen

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Aashi Agarwal
Aashi Agarwal21 days ago
A disease diagnosing "smart toilet" is being developed at Stanford University that uses automated urine and stool analysis for detecting diseases like prostate cancer, irritable bowel syndrome and risk of kidney failure among others. The smart toilet monitors urodynamics (flow rate, stream time and total volume) using video recording in addition to dipstick test for molecular diagnosis. The only downside to the idea of this "smart toilet" for disease monitoring seemed to be user acceptance. In a survey conducted on 300 prospective smart-toilet users, about 37% voted as being “somewhat comfortable” with the idea, whereas 15% voted as being “very comfortable” with the idea . Gamifying the process of sample collection like that mentioned in your idea, it could help overcome the initial hesitation that users might face and help integrate these "fun and smart toilets" into the continuous health monitoring program of users.

[1]https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2020/04/smart-toilet-monitors-for-signs-of-disease.html

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Juranium21 days ago
Aashi Agarwal I checked the paper you cited and I think it's a great invention! The ability to be mounted on any toilet allow the toilet seat to be implemented everywhere. The diagnostics part could be done in a more interesting and convenient way, in my opinion. The test strips are very difficult to handle and do not provide enough information to determine the presence of any of mentioned uses. I would definitely want to see this part upgraded with, either more strips or different analyses of biomarkers. Leaving this aside, I think the researchers from Stanford chose the best-fitting and technologically most adequate mechanism of disease detection since this is a test invention. I am excited to see what kind of advancement are they going to do, and I hope to see it soon since the article will soon be almost 2 years old. All of this combined with biometric recognition sums in a great product that will surely help the health-monitoring in general.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni20 days ago
Aashi Agarwal Great find! I am not sure whether the "video recording" feature was one of the things users were not comfortable with. To avoid recording, smart sensors could be installed that will perform the same functions more objectively, specifically to detect the flow and time taken to initiate urination.
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More health-related features: Detecting prostate problems

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Nov 16, 2021
There are sensors that detect when a person is standing in front of the urinal and when they leave to automatically initiate the flush. Similar sensors could be used to detect the time taken to initiate urination, urine flow (continuous or in bouts, weak or strong flow), etc. to identify problems with the prostate.
Benign prostate hyperplasia is a common problem that affects one in three men older than 50 years. It affects up to 90% of men by age 85 years. The common symptoms include frequent urination, urgent urination, increased frequency of urination at night, difficulty starting urination, weak urine stream or bouts of urine flow, dribbling towards the end of urination, inability to completely empty the bladder. Some of these symptoms could be identified using the sensor. Another kind of sensor that could be used is the one that detects the impact of the urine on the vessel. It needs to be placed at the inner base of the urinal.
Time taken to initiate urination could be calculated by subtracting the time of actual urine flow from the time at which the person stands in front of the urinal. Standard known time values could be used to detect problems and a message on the screen could hint the person to visit a doctor, if any problem is detected. Similarly, other symptoms, such as the weak urine stream or bouts of urine flow and dribbling towards the end of urination, could be identified using the sensors.

[1]https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia/symptoms-causes/syc-20370087

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Juranium22 days ago
Great suggestions. If we implement all of these, urinals could become health-monitoring points!
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General comments

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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
Any business offering this in their toilets would draw some word-of-mouth marketing for sure:) This covers the "necessity" part of the idea.
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