tech

Smart diaper generates power from urine

9 Comments
By Mayuko Uno

Ritsumeikan University has developed a "wireless involuntary urination sensor system," which notifies the user of the timing of replacing a paper diaper via wireless communication without using a battery.

The university expects that it will be used at nursing facilities that care patients of urinary incontinence. It demonstrated the system for mass media.

The system carries out wireless communication by using electricity generated by using urine. The amount of urine stored in the diaper is estimated from the interval of signal reception, and the user is notified of the optimal timing of replacing a diaper.

The system does not require a battery for wireless communication, and the paper diaper incorporating electrodes is disposable. The electronic circuit part (for wireless communication) called "sensor" is expected to be repeatedly used.

The system was developed by Takakuni Douseki, who researches micro energy harvesting, etc as a professor at the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Ritsumeikan University. For the demonstration, a commercially-available paper diaper for infants was modified. It contains (1) activated carbon that is 320mm in length and 5mm in width and (2) an aluminum electrode whose width is 1.8mm between absorbent and a waterproof sheet.

The current of electricity generated by the system increases as the amount of input urine increases. Also, at the time of pouring in urine, the current rapidly increases.

"I believe that the difference in current is caused by urine soaking into the fine pores of the activated carbon, realizing a high sensitivity," Douseki said.

Electricity generated from urine is stored in a capacitor in the sensor. When the amount of urine reaches a certain level, the system transmits wireless signals. The number of involuntary urinations and the amount of urine can be estimated because (1) the interval of signal reception shortens in accordance with the amount of input urine and (2) the interval shortens especially at the time of pouring in urine.

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9 Comments
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At first I thought this article was taking the ****, but apparently it's serious. I hope the wearer doesn't get an electric shock.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That battery unit on the top back does not seem to comfortable to lay on.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

New eco pee pee power! ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a teenager, I once unknowingly urinated on an electric fence on a farm where I worked part time. YOUCH!!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As a teenager, I once unknowingly urinated on an electric fence on a farm where I worked part time. YOUCH!!!

Anyone who grew up on Ren and Stimpy learned not to do that!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It wasn't as if I went on the fence, but one of the lead wires was laying in the grass where I decided to go

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hasn't knowing when to change a diaper always been wireless and battery-free? (^▽^)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This must herald a line of smart phones for the new-born market.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nursing facilities that care for the aged do not pay well for non licensed workers. People without jobs can easily get work in these places, and also it doesn't take much to be a special education assistant. So, to stay on topic, te low paying jobs encourage people to call in sick, and then they are short staffed. I worked in a convalescent home in the early 80's for a year while going to school. All the work really comes in the last 2 hours, where you literally change the linens, and clean all the patients. And that can be over twenty people. And some of those rascals don't want to get out of bed, or roll over, or let you clean those scary busy fingernails. They'll grip the bed rails with all of their strength. You will develop back problems. So, a urine bell? While you're stuck down the hall getting someone off the floor who managed to crawl out of bed and is laying on the bathroom floor with their head in a turned over garbage can? And you've got two out of six people called in sick. One R.N. for the whole floor. Doing meds. See you on the other side in another twenty years...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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