The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently funded Delight, a fully automated public toilet unit. This new kind of toilet was developed by the technology research company Eram Scientific Solutions to help address public sanitation issues in developing countries, including India where it’s currently being installed in different areas. Delight is a self-funding system with income coming from ads and the usage coin collection.
According to PSFK, the toilet system is fully automated yet designed to conserve water and energy. It is activated by coin and has an automated sliding door. The lights and exhaust fan are triggered by motion sensors when the toilet is in use. It has an automated flushing system that uses different amounts of water depending on how long the user is inside. The system has a water storage as deep as 500 liters and can be connected to existing drainage system. The toilets are monitored remotely by agencies using GPRS controls. Each unit also has an audio system that users can use to communicate complaints.
Eram has already installed 400 units of Delight in Kozhikode, Kerala State, and Delhi, and the company plans to install 6,000 more. Eram is also working on a SheToilet, which caters to the needs of women, and a model for schools.
Why I’m Curious: I find it quite amusing that sometime in the near future our advertisements may serve as the fuel to give us clean, public restroom facilities. I’m curious about how much an installation like this costs and what the adoption rate will look like in developing countries. We’ve been seeing public restrooms getting quite a bit of press recently, and it’s exciting to monitor the development of such creative solutions that may one day make public toilets less repulsive.