Instructables
Picture of Toilet Buddy
Say goodbye to embarrassing bathroom sounds, leaving the seat up, or forgetting to turn off the light with Toilet Buddy! Here's a little demo of Toilet Buddy in action.


Toilet Buddy is based on a Propeller Platform USB - it was inspired by Japanese toilets that play a 'Courtesy Flush' sound instead of actually flushing in order to save water. It also improves on the idea by reminding you to put the seat down and when you left the lights on.

First, I'll go over the design and show you how to make it. Then, I'll show you how Toilet Buddy can be adapted to projects that could use event-driven audio playback.
 
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Step 1: FAQ

Picture of FAQ
How does it work?
Toilet Buddy has two sensors - one for the light level in the room, the other for the position of the toilet seat. Based on the status of the sensors, audio samples are triggered and played through the onboard speakers;
  • When the light is on and the seat is up, it plays back flushing samples
  • When the light is off and the seat is up, it plays back a reminder to put the toilet seat down
  • When the light is on and the seat is down, it reminds you to turn the bathroom light off
Because there usually isn't a power outlet around the toilet, Toilet Buddy is battery powered.

Can I use it for something else?
Yes! The ability to trigger audio samples based on external events is useful for home automation, music, R/C, and tons of different projects. After we put together the base circuit, I'll give you a few examples for re-purposing Toilet Buddy.

Will it work on my toilet?
Probably. As long as the toilet lid is taller than the reservoir tank when open, it should work;


If the lid doesn't go over the tank, Toilet Buddy won't be able to sense when it's up.

How long do the batteries last?
Over a month. Toilet Buddy spends most of its time in low power mode, consuming <1mA @ 4V.

What's the audio quality?
48KHz, 16-bit stereo, which is a little better than CD quality sound.
I think people are a little confused here. The bit that seems to be going up and down in the video is the lid, not the seat. The lid is only there for you to sit on or stand on in the rare occasions the need arises. Since anyone will know they want to do this it is not necessary to remind anyone.

The actual seat, of course is left up or down on different occasions (which is reasonably balanced) by a certain sort of person (generally, the male of the species) and always down (unfairly biased) by another sort of person (usually the female of the species).

What I would like would be a gadget that reminds people that once in a while they should be reasonable and leave the seat up for the next user!
Actually when you flush the toilet it flings particles of waste into the air. It's more sanitary to close the lid before flushing.
bsheff3 years ago
QUITE A CLOCK you have there!
Any more information about that clock with 2 pendulums and 3 dials,
Is that clock striking you have in the WAV files?
regards, Bob
yoyology3 years ago
I'm actually thinking of using a modified version of this as a Skinnerian training device. One of my children seems to have difficulty remembering to use paper when he's finished. Any suggestions for a TP roll sensor?
mwolfe53 years ago
Or, you could just tell your 'toilet buddy' to deal with it.
CrimsonCrow3 years ago
You flush when you lift the cover? I thought one was supposed to flush AFTER one used the toilet.
Pwag3 years ago
Does this courtesy reminder go off while you're in the shower with the light on?
codeman7353 years ago
nice device, but wouldnt you already be out of the room before it played the sound to remind you to shut off the lights?
What I want is a white noise generator, so if I go into a public restroom I can turn it on and mask the sounds of using the toilet. I hate having restroom standoffs because I need to take a dump, but I'm worried that the person next to me will think I'm disgusting.
Johnekong3 years ago
Its really perfect!
It really needs a female voice, as that's the sound you've always been used to for minor toilet violations. XD
Sorry ladies, I'm speaking from experience though.
Evacution Com--Evacuation Com---Evac----Evacuatio--

Evacuation Complete
thomasreno3 years ago
Need it to flush the toilet when I forget! Wifey doesn't like that!
agis683 years ago
pretty cool device gives extra ideas....