Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bathrooms, Sensors, and Bots! Oh My!

Bathrooms have become hands free. An experience in the bathroom begins with a toilet or urinal which includes a sensor to recognize when the user is which point it flushes itself. Next we arrive at the sink where the faucet is on sensor to pour water on our hands for cleansing. We then dry our hands with a paper towel which dispenses towels based on motion. All of these motion detectors are designed to save on water and allow as little contact, with germ-possible areas, necessary.


I like the sensor bathroom idea but I think bathrooms should be taken a step further. Let's begin with a sensor door. It can slide open like on the Starship Enterprise or in a grocery store (for you non-nerds). The next step would include a robot that can take my pants down, clean me, and zip me up when I'm through. Maybe even put a coin slot on the bathroom-bot's head for tips. The next step of cleaning your hands is only necessary if you tip bathroom-bot. Use the sensor faucet, sensor soap dispenser (I like the sound of that), and sensor air drier. Walk back through the sensor Star Trek doors and you are done.

Back to Reality

The sensor faucet intrigues me. I always wondered how the faucet turns itself off once it is flowing. Shouldn't the water continue to run since the motion sensor recognizes movement at the running water's distance? I needed to run some tests.

First I turned my hand flat and parallel to the sensor and slowly moved it closer. The water turned on once my hand was under the water. This meant the distance the water pours at can trigger the faucet to run. So why does the water not continue to flow? I got it! I flattened my hand, thumb pointing up, and moved it straight under the faucet towards the sensor. The water did not trigger.

Just as I suspected! The sensor only recognizes motion to the left and right of where the water pours.

Bathroom technology is advancing quickly and so must our understanding of it. How else will we recognize proper bathroom-bot tip etiquette when that day comes?


Anonymous said...

I like the air dryers that make your hands wrinkle up when they are drying them like there's 100 mi per hour winds blowing on them.

Also... your blog header has a bot on it too, how convenient.

Dom said...

That's what happens when bathroom-bot doesn't get tipped!