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eToilets to swachh bharat rescue

Posted: 02 Oct 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Swachh Bharat  e-Toilet  electronic toilet 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi whipped out his broom on Thursday, signalling the start of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan across the country on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary. While papers reported on broom-wielding politicians and party workers, we looked for work done by engineers to support a clean India.

Electronic toilet

We found several initiatives to create an urban sanitation infrastructure. Bindeshwar Pathak, known as the "toilet guru," has already constructed more than one million household toilets using his two-pit technology. But what really caught our attention was a product by Eram Scientific: electronic public toilets.


Figure 1: The steel-made portable public toilet is corrosion resistant and has automated access control. (Source: Eram Scientific)


Figure 2: The eToilet guides the user with written instructions. White circle around the last instruction is ours. We hope, for the sake of the user, of course, that audio instructions are clear and complete.

Claimed by the company to be the country's first e-toilet, it is a modular, pre-fabricated cubicle made of steel and integrated with electronic interfaces. Unmanned and automated, each toilet has remote monitoring capabilities via GPRS to track its health status.

According to the company, eToilet incorporates full cycle approach in sustainable sanitation by integrating convergence of electronics, mechanical, web-mobile technologies to control the toilet's mechanisms, including entry, usage, cleaning, exit and remote monitoring.

When a user inserts a coin, the latrine automatically opens its door, switches on a light and directs the user with audio commands, which is just as well since written instructions may not always be complete (see figure 2 right).

Eram Scientific said the toilets, which use a sensor-based conservation method, are programmed to flush 1.5l of water after 3 minutes of usage or 4.5l if usage is longer. It can also be programmed to clean the platform with a complete wash down after every five or 10 persons use the toilet.

The eToilet is part of the Connected eToilet Infrastructure (CeTI), a platform for monitoring the operation of each toilet. Owners and technology providers use CeTI to check the health status of the eToilets and see if any corrective action needs to be taken. A dedicated website is currently mapping more than 200 eToilets across the country.

The eToilet is equipped with an atmospheric water generator, which generates water from the atmospheric humidity. There's also a self-washing and cleaning system to ensure the cleanliness inside the toilets before and after each use.

There are currently over 500 eToilet units in 10 major states, including Kerala, New Delhi, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana.

- Jasmine Solana
  EE Times India

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