With the severe drought going on in California with no end in sight, [TVMiller] decided he could put an Arduino and a toilet together to try and save at least a few gallons of water per day. The invention fills a toilet to the minimum level, saving around two gallons per day for the average “user”.
A typical toilet functions by using gravity and moving water to create a vacuum, sucking the waste down and out of the toilet. As long as there is nothing, uh, solid in the bowl, the toilet will be able to function on the reduced amount of water. The Arduino cuts the flow of water off before the toilet fills up the entire way.
In the event that anyone -ahem- needs the toilet’s full capacity, there is a button connected to the Arduino that fills the reservoir to capacity. [TVMiller] notes that if 1,825 hackers installed this device on their toilets, we could save a million gallons of water per year and be well on our way to saving the planet.
The project site is full of more information and puns for your viewing pleasure. We might suggest that the “2” button would be very easy to integrate with the toilet terror level indicator as well.
We thought [Kristofer’s] Tech Tip about using figlet with scripts was kind of fun. It’s a throwback to the days of logging onto a BBS and being greeted by a vertically scrolling ASCII art image that had been meticulously hand crafted (although a lot of the coolest stuff was actually ANSI art). No hand crafting here, just feed (or pipe) your text to figlet and it outputs the message in ASCII style letters.
When we went to try install this in Ubuntu, the toilet package was suggested. This one’s worth checking out too. It works in much the same way as figlet but uses extended characters and has a lot more color and font settings:
Give these packages a try and make character art cool again!
We wouldn’t want to let a week slip by without something new being made to twitter would we? This time it is a toilet. Don’t worry, they are sparing us the graphic details, it pretty much tweets every time it is flushed. As you can see in the picture above, they’re using an Arduino for the toilet/PC connection. If you really want to make something twitter, this might be a good starting point. It’s basically twittering every time a button is pushed. You can download the source code on the site as well as find a tutorial on Arduino basics.
Head over to The Daily WTF to find out about the building upgrade that made this data center only accessible from the handicap stall of the women’s restroom.
Normally, this wouldn’t quite make my radar, but [sprite_tm] built it, and it’s funny as hell. He created a Terror Level indicator for… his toilet. Rather than create an exotic smell detector, he simply uses a photo diode to measure the amount of time that the light has been on in the ol’ water closet. As time progresses, so does the Terror Level indicator. To make an audible indicator, he used the PWM generator in the ATTiny231to create a sort of ping sound when the level escalates. (I can definitely think of someone I need one of these things for.)