Portable Adaptive Toilet - The "One-2-Geaux"

The target market is individuals with CP or other neuromuscular disabilities who have poor trunk control and cannot sit up independently without support. The assumption is that a caregiver will set the toilet up, then help the individual onto the toilet and then they can safely do their business in privacy.

So, my idea is super simple, it is a folding camp chair that has been modified to fit over a toilet, has a higher back option for head support and has trunk support chest straps, preferably made out of neoprene. Other modifications include taking out the cross bars at the back of the camp chair and replace it with a single hinged bar that fits across the back, just above the toilet seat to maintain stability; and straps that come off the back and the sides that can be clipped around the handicap railings in public restrooms to ensure the chair doesn’t tip; the scale of the chair would have to be a few inches higher than a traditional camp chair since it would need to fit over the toilet….this could be achieved possibly by creating telescoping legs so that it isn’t too big for a family to carry around with them when traveling but that might make ease of use and quick set up a bit more cumbersome. I believe the toilet seat itself could be the fabric camp seat with a hole cut out but I would also like to have a soft plastic insert to fit over it (or something like that) for especially the boys for a pee guard!

One-2-Geaux!

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@James_Cat @noamplatt Just wanted to check in- is Cicada assisting with this project? Let me know either way! Thanks!

Hey Zee!

Yes still interested, we are having a team meeting tomorrow afternoon to brainstorm. Will do our best to document.

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Thanks for the update James! We are excited to see what the talent at Cicada will come up with. Please keep Jennifer up-to-date as the design process progresses (i know yall will).

Many thanks-
Noam

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Hello,

Is this meeting about my toilet proposal? I would love to be a part of it if possible so I could explain results of my family survey regarding specific needs and the background to all of it.

Thanks,
Jen

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Absolutely! I’ll follow up via our email chain.

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Also James for anything that isn’t private info, feel free to add your process and any challenges here so other makers can chime in! This way anyone wants to create a similar project can learn from your process! Afterwards if you document your steps we can add this project to the library so others can build it too.
thanks for being awesome James!

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Hello All!

We had a productive intro meeting with Jennifer and a solid kick-off with our design team. We are meeting at her house on Friday to gather some more info about the higher-end devices that are currently in use. Lots of info below:

Potty talk notes in no particular order:

  • Design challenge is portable toilet assistance for their son, that is sturdy, yet compact enough for travel, the device would be good for those who have poor trunk-control
  • Can be used for a variety of service needs
  • A device that will be placed, secured, use business, then pack up
  • Ideally light-weight, portable enough for a carry-on planes for travel, fit behind a wheelchair or in a backpack
  • Arm rest, chest support, seat belt style, side lateral support , headrest (can be optional support)
  • Folding camp chair used as a good precedent
  • Just needs a hole at base for the business
  • Adaptive portable toilet - search terms
  • A caretaker would likely assemble and place the device, and also pack-it up
  • Ideally creating a scenario where the caretaker does not need to assist those for the entirety of the bathroom use, simply at the beginning and the end
  • Meeting family on Friday (03/12/21) to understand the process in person

CICADA team initial thoughts:

  • Start simple, RAW materials that are cheap, or take apart an existing product
  • Folding chairs, stadium chairs, and PVC parts are some of the first starting points
  • If folding and light-weight, we would need strong and locking connections, but easy to assemble, 3D printed joints for customization and strength
  • General ideas: Nesting parts, using similar materials and parts, easily replaceable
  • How do materials fold? Nest together? Wood slat concepts, telescopic parts
  • Seat needs to be easily cleanable - likely most rigid part of the assembly
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Notes about existing products:

The only product that has a “portability kit” is the Rifton HTS - https://www.rifton.com/products/bathing-and-toileting-systems/hygiene-toileting-system. There are a few other adaptive toilets that provide support for quadriplegics, but none also have portability options. For reference, here are some other examples that are not considered portable: https://www.rifton.com/products/bathing-and-toileting-systems/hygiene-toileting-system, and https://www.especialneeds.com/shop/bath-toilet-incontinence/commodes/tumble-forms-carrier-potty-seat.html

The Rifton HTS, is a great product, but it is not easily portable, so traveling through airports or rest stops with it aren’t an option. Additionally, the HTS and really all the toilets that provide the support my son needs are extremely expensive. There is not necessarily a financial incentive to add portability for manufacturers because Medicaid/Medicare will not cover this. In general, private and group insurance doesn’t cover the costs of these toilets at all. So unless someone has Medicaid/Medicare, they will have to purchase any toilet on their own and in every case, a portability option is not covered. Other conditions that this impacts are ALS, Spinal Cord Injuries, Muscular Dystrophy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, and things like limb loss from accidents or disease.

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We are a very visual office, so sketching our thoughts and ideas in real-time tends to push our design thinking further. Below is a sketch that Adrienne did in our office while we were chatting. Just throwing it all out there!

Makers_Making_Change_Charette_1.pdf (182.4 KB)

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Love being fly on the wall for this design process. One thing I noticed from the opening wire mechanism to hold to 90 degrees -how would that work if the location of the toilet is reversed in the room? Wonder if an extendable metal piece could be used but moved to the other side depending on which side they are sliding from?
Maybe you’ve already covered this consideration. I just want to be part of the fun!

Agreed, that’s a good catch!

I think a wire for lateral support and folding would be great elsewhere on the design, but probably not in the area indicated on the drawing.

Always looking for easy cross-bracing!

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Hey Everyone - i wanted to provide any update on the exciting progress of this design. @James_Cat and @noamplatt met with @jblyman at her residence to view the existing Rifton product and discuss design strategy. One of the main things we have seen with the Rifton (and other devices like it) is that they utilize bulky and heavy legs, making portability unreasonable.

We decided that ditching the legs and using the geometry of the inside of the toilet bowl itself for a stable mounting solution. There are a number of factors to consider, and we are designing this seat from the base-up. Attached below are a number of process renderings and images, changing in complexity to show the design process that is currently ongoing.

Roughly, we went from a solid seat with undercuts - seat split in 2 - using variable bone-shaped bars to secure the seat - to a sliding overlap design.

The first image is a new design from @James_Cat that is starting to integrate the back and side support concepts we have been discussing with @jblyman and Alex Geht.

Let us know your feedback, we are continuing the design process and will update this post more regularly.

I wanted to add a note that Alex Geht is an incredible assistive seating designer, and I want to plug his really sophisticated adaptive seating, he is offering his expertise to help this project, and he gets many similar requests for similar devices in Israel. You can find this seats at https://www.abililab.com/ and https://www.testa-seat.com/

Thanks!
-Noam Platt
MMC NOLA Chapter Leader

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