Self-cleaning toilets, technology for waste collectors to be developed under NEA initiative

Self-cleaning toilets, technology for waste collectors to be developed under NEA initiative

Toilet bowl
File photo of a toilet. 

SINGAPORE: There may soon be self-cleaning toilet cubicles at hawker centres as part of the push to drive innovation and improve productivity. 

The project involves retrofitting existing cubicles with features to automatically clean the toilet bowl, walls and floor at scheduled intervals, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Wednesday (Jul 31).

For instance, a mechanism will be able to open and close the toilet bowl lid on its own, rinse the toilet bowl and seat, as well as blow-dry the seat.

Cleaning agent and water will be sprayed to wash the cubicle wall, and the floor will be flushed with pressurised water to push any soil or rubbish to the floor trap.

“This gives the cleaners more time to perform other tasks such as replenishing the consumables and touch-up or spot cleaning,” said the agency.

“It is also a step forward in NEA’s efforts to transform the toilet-cleaning process from the current frequency based, labour intensive and undesirable one into one which is on-demand with minimal human intervention enabled by the use of smart technologies.”

The project will be developed by Red Dot Robotics, said NEA, adding that the technology will go on trial at a toilet cubicle at Geylang Serai Hawker Centre for three months.

self cleaning toilet NEA
Mock-up image of the self-cleaning toilet cubicle solution (Image: Red Dot Robotics Pte Ltd)

This was one of two projects awarded after the first open innovation call for environmental services solutions launched by NEA and Enterprise Singapore.

The other project involves an assistive motor-driven device, which aims to reduce the strain of public waste collectors in having to push heavy waste bins from the disposal point to waste trucks.

A proof-of-concept trial will take place at sites identified by public waste collectors Veolia and SembWaste over a period of two months.

“These trial sites will be at areas around trade premises, where there are challenging terrains and heavy bins,” said NEA.

NEA waste collector
Mock-up images of the assistive motor-driven device (Image: Meisterform Pte Ltd)

A total of nine submissions were received for the open innovation call.

These efforts are in line with the environmental services industry transformation map, which aims to help the industry remain competitive and attractive.

“The workforce can also look forward to better jobs, as the use of technology and automation will help to reduce routine and laborious tasks, allowing them to focus on other areas of work such as operating machinery or smart systems to enable better service delivery,” said NEA.

Source: CNA/co(gs)

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