Regular medical check-ups could be soon replaced by visits to the bathroom, thanks to the smart toilets, designed by Science Walden design team at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST). This smart toilet system is the latest version of the previous waterless energy-producing toilet system BeeVi Toilet, created as part of the Science Walden Project. At the heart of this Science Walden project is the Feces Standard Money (FSM). Their new, advanced BeeVi WALDEN 2.0 even features a built-in health screening system that could be used to analyze urine and other waste matter and inform users of their current wellbeing via a smartphone application.
The Feces Standard Money (FSM) is a concept that turns human waste into next-generation biofuel and later uses it as currency, which has been studied extensively by the Science Walden team since 2015. Both versions of BeeVi toilets were displayed at the Art Hall 2 of Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul.
The first generation BeeVi toilet, WALDEN 1.0 is much smaller than the existing flushable toilets, as it treats human excrement without using water. WALDEN 1.0 sets a dryer and a grinder at the bottom to convert faeces into a dry, odourless material. Once these powdered faeces are transferred to the Microbial Energy Production system, it can later be converted to methane, which can then be used as a heating fuel. It has a streamlined design, which resembles a white porcelain from the Joseon Dynasty and reminiscent of a dressing table chair.
WALDEN 1.0 also helps the users to switch to a more natural posture when having bowel movements. The commode is designed to encourage people to scoot up their legs so that their posture rests in more of a 35-degree angle, rather than the conventional 90-degree sitting position. To achieve this, the toilet seat is reconfigured to allow your hips are pulled down when sitting. This posture was said to be the most advantageous for bowel movements.
The second generation BeeVi toilet, WALDEN 2.0 removed both the dryer and grinding system. It has a structure that can suck up the faeces like a vacuum cleaner and send it directly to the energy production system. To do this, users need about 0.5 litres of water, but it is much smaller when compared to the amount of water that regular flush toilets require, thereby realizing a 'super water-saving vacuum toilet'.
WALDEN 2.0 will also have added features for the healthcare of the users. For instance, the ultraviolet (UV) lamp is installed to sterilize or disinfect the toilet bowl, seat, as well as the lid. It also has a built-in biosensor that could be used to analyze urine and other waste matter to check for biomarkers, indicators of diseases and even nutritional deficiencies.
This exhibition was held as part of '2017 Discovering Hidden Gems in Seoul- Secret Craft'. BeeVi toilets, the toilets of the future, will give millions of people easy access to basic health screenings.