By Radiant Energy Responsive Means Patents (Class 4/304)
  • Patent number: 10508423
    Abstract: An automatic faucet includes a housing forming partially an internal barrel and a faucet head and being constructed to include at least one water inlet conduit extending into said barrel and a water outlet for delivering water from a spout. The automatic faucet also includes a faucet head having a removable faucet crown and the spout, wherein the faucet crown is removably mounted to the faucet head. The automatic faucet also includes a valve module, a sensor module, a battery module, a turbine module, and a control module. The valve module includes a valve controlled by an electromagnetic actuator for controlling the water flow from the spout. The sensor module is constructed to provide sensor data influenced by a user. The control module is constructed to control opening and closing of the valve by providing signals to the electromagnetic actuator. The control module is also constructed to receive sensor data from the sensor module and execute a sensing algorithm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Inventors: Kay Herbert, Xiaoxiong Mo, Jeff Krull, Jean F. Daher, Qiaohong Chen, Ronald J. Vish, Fatih Guler, Xu Wang, Stanley O Thompson, David L. Carpenter
  • Patent number: 10392789
    Abstract: A water discharge apparatus including a water discharger, a water supply path, an opening/closing valve, a photoelectric sensor, and a controller, the photoelectric sensor projects detection light, receives a reflected light of the detection light, and outputs a received signal corresponding to a light reception amount of the reflected light, the controller detects an existence or absence of an object based on the received signal and controls opening and closing of the opening/closing valve according to a detection result of the object, the photoelectric sensor includes a sensor main body and a conductive member, the sensor main body includes a light-projecting element and a light receiving element, and the conductive member covers a front of the light receiving element, is formed in a sheet configuration, is light-transmissive, is conductive, and is electrically connected to a reference potential of the sensor main body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: TOTO LTD.
    Inventor: Minoru Karei
  • Patent number: 10253486
    Abstract: In a toilet comprising a toilet bowl, the water-saving system comprises a first emitter for emitting a first beam having a first wavelength comprised between 300 and 495 nm. A second emitter for emitting a second beam has a second wavelength comprised between 590 and 900 nm, at least one detector for receiving the first and second beams. The first emitter, second emitter and detector(s) are installed on the toilet such that the first beam and second beam pass through the water contained in the toilet bowl before being received by the detector(s). A controller receives and processes data from the detector(s), and the data representing the waste level in the toilet bowl. A flush volume actuator is actuated by the controller for flushing a variable volume of water as a function of the data, so as to minimize the volume of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: SIAMP CEDAP
    Inventors: Olivier Plas, Romain Jallon
  • Patent number: 10094098
    Abstract: Improvements in a toilet flush system where the flush is not determined only by a simple gravitational flow of the water tank content. The Flush-All provides a quick flush, as soon as the flush handle is released the flushing stops. There is no sticking of the flushing flapper, leaky flapper, leaky O-rings, sticky plungers, wasted water flow by improperly adjusted water level height as water continuously flows over the overfill tubing, or defects in the incoming water automatic shut off system or the noise that accompany such continuous flow. The Flush-All provides a universal design that can be used on most toilet bowls systems, a simple retrofitting procedure using a universal mounting base that is retrofitted to most existing toilet bowl. The only part to be replaced is the toilet tank. It is a quick and easy procedure that requires no structural damage or repair to the bathroom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Inventor: Nat R. Shain
  • Patent number: 10030371
    Abstract: Exemplary embodiments of touch-free devices and systems comprising touch-free devices operating in a concerted effort are disclosed below. An exemplary touch-free device includes a spout, a processor, memory, an object sensor, a communication interface and logic stored on the memory. The logic contains processor readable instructions for causing the touch-free device to communicate with a second touch-free device. Wherein the processor readable instructions coordinate the operation of the touch-free device with respect to the second touch-free device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2018
    Assignee: GOJO Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Nick E. Ciavarella, John J. McNulty, Jackson W. Wegelin
  • Patent number: 9715836
    Abstract: A toilet training assembly includes a toilet that has a housing, a seat and a lid and the housing has a top wall, a bottom wall and a peripheral wall extending therebetween. The top wall has an opening extending therethrough and the seat is hingedly coupled to the top wall. The seat has an aperture extending therethrough such that the aperture is aligned with the opening. The lid is hingedly coupled to the seat to selectively cover the aperture. A bowl is removably positioned within the opening to capture waste from a child when the child utilizes the toilet to urinate or defecate. A detection apparatus is coupled to the toilet to detect when the waste is deposited in the bowl. The detection apparatus issues an audible congratulation and produces a visual reward when the child deposits the waste in the bowl.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Inventor: Linda Berkovich
  • Patent number: 9695579
    Abstract: An automatic faucet includes a housing constructed to receive at least one water inlet conduit and having a spout for delivering water. The automatic faucet includes a valve module, a sensor module, a battery module, a turbine module, and a control module. The valve module includes a valve controlled by an electromagnetic actuator for controlling the water flow from the spout. The sensor module is constructed to provide sensor data influenced by a user. The control module is constructed to control opening and closing of the valve by providing signals to the electromagnetic actuator. The control module is also constructed to receive sensor data from the sensor module and execute a sensing algorithm. The control module is also constructed to execute a power management algorithm for managing electrical power generated by the water turbine and provided to and from the battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Inventors: Kay Herbert, Xiaoxiong Mo, Jeff Krull, Jean F. Daher, Qiaohong Chen, Ronald J. Vish, Fatih Guler, Xu Wang, Stanley O Thompson, David L. Carpenter
  • Patent number: 9637901
    Abstract: A method for setting at least one parameter on an actuation element (1) for triggering a function, in particular flushing, on a sanitary system, wherein the actuation element (1) comprises at least two actuation sensors (2, 3) for detecting an input of a user and at least two optical display elements (4, 5). The actuation element (1) is transferred from an operating mode (B) into a setting mode (E), in which said parameters can be set, with the simultaneous activation of at least two actuation sensors (2, 3) over a preset time interval (T1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: GEBERIT INTERNATIONAL AG
    Inventors: Roland Oberholzer, Raffael Zingg
  • Patent number: 9550115
    Abstract: A gaming system installable in a urinal or toilet in which a removably attached pressure and location sensor assembly can be wirelessly coupled to a data server. The data server can include a user interface allowing the user to initiate a gaming session, such as through a touch screen monitor positioned above or nearby the urinal. The data server can collect and store data from the pressure and location sensor. The data server can be coupled to a plurality of touch screen monitors and pressure and location sensor assemblies for providing a multi-user gaming environment. Collected and processed data can be presented in real time on the touch screen monitors and can be stored in a database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Inventor: Christopher Anthony Silva
  • Patent number: 9347209
    Abstract: Methods for communicating with an automatic flush valve device. The automatic flush device having a variety of operational modes which can be selected from to control the operation of the device. The communication from the automatic flush device providing a user with information regarding the status of the flush valve device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2016
    Assignee: Sloan Valve Company
    Inventors: John R. Wilson, Xu Wang
  • Patent number: 8955822
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to novel optical sensors and novel methods for sensing optical radiation. The novel optical sensors and the novel optical sensing methods are used, for example, for controlling the operation of automatic faucets and flushers. The novel sensors and flow controllers (including control electronics and valves) require only small amounts of electrical power for sensing users of bathroom facilities, and thus enable battery operation for many years. A passive optical sensor includes a light detector sensitive to ambient (room) light for controlling the operation of automatic faucets or automatic bathroom flushers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Sloan Valve Company
    Inventors: Natan E. Parsons, Fatih Guler, Kay Herbert, Xiaoxiong Mo, Haiou Wu, Yue Zhang
  • Patent number: 8695125
    Abstract: An automatic toilet flushing system, for use with conventional toilets, includes a sensor, an actuator and a flushing mechanism. The actuator has a gear train, a motor, a pivotal arm connected to the gear train, and a power source connected to the motor for rotating the shaft of the motor which rotates the gear train for pivotal movement of the arm. The flushing mechanism includes a flapper valve and the pivotal arm is connected to the flapper valve via a bead chain and a handle swivel or a tab mounted on the pivotal arm. The sensor may replace the flush handle or the flush handle and the sensor may both be provided. A kit and a method for converting a manual flushing system to the automatic toilet flushing system are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Zurn Industries, LLC
    Inventors: Michael A. Funari, Jeffrey T. Phillips, Brian Vanhoy, Roy F. Leviner, III
  • Publication number: 20130145536
    Abstract: A conversion system for converting an installed manually-operated flush valve used with a urinal or toilet is designed for automatic operation. The conversion system includes a power module, a control module, a driver module coupled to the manually-operated flush valve, and an optical sensor constructed to detect light arriving from a detection field. The control module is constructed to control activation of the driver module based on a signal from the optical sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 9, 2012
    Publication date: June 13, 2013
    Inventors: Natan E. Parsons, Fatih Guler, Jean F. Daher, Kay Herbert, Xiaoxiong Mo, Yue Zhang, Haiou Wu
  • Publication number: 20130145535
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to novel optical sensors and novel methods for sensing optical radiation. The novel optical sensors and the novel optical sensing methods are used, for example, for controlling the operation of automatic faucets and flushers. The novel sensors and flow controllers (including control electronics and valves) require only small amounts of electrical power for sensing users of bathroom facilities, and thus enable battery operation for many years. A passive optical sensor includes a light detector sensitive to ambient (room) light for controlling the operation of automatic faucets or automatic bathroom flushers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 1, 2012
    Publication date: June 13, 2013
    Inventors: Natan E. Parsons, Fatih Guler, Kay Herbert, Xiaoxiong Mo, Haiou Wu, Yue Zhang
  • Patent number: 8250680
    Abstract: A urinal includes: a urinal body; a high-frequency sensor which radiates a radio beam obliquely passing through an upper surface of the urinal body toward a bowl and receives a reflected wave from an object so as to generate a detection signal; and a valve which discharges or stops flushing water to the urinal body in response to the detection signal. An angle formed between a first plane including the upper surface of the urinal body and a second plane including a radiation surface of an antenna of the high-frequency sensor is in a range of more than 0 degree to less than 90 degree. A cross line where the first plane and the second plane intersect with each other is substantially parallel to a horizontal direction of the urinal body. The radio beam is a linearly-polarized wave. An excitation direction of the radio beam intersects with the cross line. An intensity of the radio beam passing through the urinal body is larger than that of the radio beam reflected by the upper surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2012
    Assignee: Toto Ltd.
    Inventors: Kensuke Murata, Masayuki Nagaishi, Tomoyuki Abe, Hiroshi Tsuboi
  • Patent number: 8239975
    Abstract: A distance warning device for a male urinal comprises a casing, a detector provided at the front end of the casing, and a comparison circuit, a control circuit, and a warning indicator that are electrically connected with the detector. The detector detects the location of a human body. The comparison circuit then outputs a corresponding signal by means of comparison of the detection results. When receiving a signal indicating that the distance from the human body to the male urinal is between the first distance and the second distance, the control circuit has the warning indicator output a warning signal and has a flusher begin a first-phase flush to pre-wet the male urinal. When receiving a signal indicating that the human body is within the first distance, the control circuit stops the warning indicator. When the distance between the human body and the male urinal is equal to or longer than the second distance, the flusher begins the second-phase flush to wash the male urinal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Inventor: Shuen-Ching Lee
  • Publication number: 20120174306
    Abstract: An automatic sensing system and a detecting method for use with plumbing equipment in the kitchen and washroom are shown and described. The automatic sensing system includes an ambient light sensor for detecting the ambient light intensity around the equipment. The system further includes a detecting sensor for detecting whether user enters the detected area. The system also includes a controller which controls the equipment based on detected signals from the detecting sensor. The controller is configured to start or change the state of the detecting sensor according to a detected value change of the ambient light intensity. The automatic sensing system advantageously saves power consumed by the detecting sensor when the ambient light sensor does not indicate use by the equipment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 29, 2011
    Publication date: July 12, 2012
    Inventors: Zhongmin Chen, Pengcheng Gao, Dehua Xiong
  • Patent number: 8113483
    Abstract: A lavatory system having at least one wash station and at least one electrically operated fixture is disclosed. The lavatory system includes a control system for operating the at least one electrically operated fixture. The control system comprises a power supply system, a detection system, and a fixture actuation system. According to one embodiment, the detection system comprises a processor, a sensor configured to detect a user within a sensing region, and a sampling circuit configured to store a signal from the sensor that is used by the processor to activate the fixture. According to another embodiment, the power supply system includes a power source providing an output voltage for operating components of the control system, a detector monitoring the output voltage, and a switch for electrically disconnecting the power source from the components of the control system if the output voltage drops below a predetermined level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: Bradley Fixtures Corporation
    Inventors: Graeme S. Bayley, John Loberger, Brendan Doorhy, Joseph Mazza, Brian Gaza, Donald O'Brien
  • Patent number: 7862001
    Abstract: An automatic flush actuation apparatus, which is incorporated with a flushing system having a water inlet, a water outlet, and a water chamber communicating therebetween, that includes a valve member being moved by a flush lever for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing from the water inlet to the water outlet, and a sensor-operated powering assembly including a relief valve provided at the valve member for controlling the water flowing to the water outlet and an actuator arranged in such a manner that while sensing a presence of a user of the flushing system, the actuator is driven to move the relief valve to an opened position for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing to said water outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Inventors: Jorge Maercovich, Leo Maercovich
  • Patent number: 7857280
    Abstract: An automatic flush actuation apparatus, which is incorporated with a flushing system having a water inlet, a water outlet, and a water chamber communicating therebetween, that includes a valve member being moved by a flush lever for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing from the water inlet to the water outlet, and a sensor-operated powering assembly including a relief valve provided at the valve member for controlling the water flowing to the water outlet and an actuator arranged in such a manner that while sensing a presence of a user of the flushing system, the actuator is driven to move the relief valve to an opened position for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing to said water outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2010
    Inventors: Jorge Maercovich, Leo Maercovich
  • Patent number: 7797769
    Abstract: A flushing system with a sensing module, having at least one sensor and a controller circuit having a sensor detection and trigger sub-circuit operatively coupled to the at least one sensor, and a flushing mechanism operatively coupled to the motion sensing module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Inventor: Debra Lynn Ozenick
  • Patent number: 7731154
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to novel optical sensors and novel methods for sensing optical radiation. The novel optical sensors and the novel optical sensing methods are used, for example, for controlling the operation of automatic faucets and flushers. The novel sensors and flow controllers (including control electronics and valves) require only small amounts of electrical power for sensing users of bathroom facilities, and thus enable battery operation for many years. A passive optical sensor includes a light detector sensitive to ambient (room) light for controlling the operation of automatic faucets or automatic bathroom flushers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Inventors: Natan E. Parsons, Fatih Guler, Kay Herbert, Xiaoxiong Mo, Haiou Wu, Yue Zhang
  • Publication number: 20100064424
    Abstract: A flush apparatus includes a solenoid valve, a driving circuit for providing a driving power to the solenoid valve, a battery, a solar cell electrically connected to the battery, and a control module electrically connected to the driving circuit for providing at least one control signal to the driving circuit to control ON/OFF of the driving circuit. The solar cell and the battery are electrically connected to a power output terminal in parallel, and the power output terminal is electrically connected to the driving circuit directly for providing the driving power to the driving circuit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2008
    Publication date: March 18, 2010
    Inventors: Yen-Ta Hsu, Ching-Liang Chiu
  • Patent number: 7552905
    Abstract: An automatic flush actuation apparatus, which is incorporated with a flushing system having a water inlet, a water outlet, and a water chamber communicating therebetween, that includes a valve member being moved by a flush lever for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing from the water inlet to the water outlet, and a sensor-operated powering assembly including a relief valve provided at the valve member for controlling the water flowing to the water outlet and an actuator arranged in such a manner that while sensing a presence of a user of the flushing system, the actuator is driven to move the relief valve to an opened position for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing to said water outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2009
    Assignee: Advanced Modern Technologies, Corp.
    Inventors: Jorge Maercovich, Jackson Lu, Leo Maercovich, Shao-Kuang Liu, Hsiang-Chin Kao
  • Patent number: 7510166
    Abstract: An automatic flush actuation apparatus, which is incorporated with a flushing system having a water inlet, a water outlet, and a water chamber communicating therebetween, that includes a valve member being moved by a flush lever for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing from the water inlet to the water outlet, and a sensor-operated powering assembly including a relief valve provided at the valve member for controlling the water flowing to the water outlet and an actuator arranged in such a manner that while sensing a presence of a user of the flushing system, the actuator is driven to move the relief valve to an opened position for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing to said water outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2009
    Inventors: Jorge Maercovich, Leo Maercovich, Shao-Kuang Liu
  • Patent number: 7437778
    Abstract: An automatic bathroom flusher includes a body having an inlet in communication with a supply line and an outlet in communication with a flush conduit, a valve assembly in the body positioned to close water flow between the inlet and the outlet upon sealing action of a moving member at a valve seat thereby controlling flow from the inlet to the outlet, an actuator for actuating operation of the moving member, and a controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2008
    Assignee: Arichell Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Natan E. Parsons, Fatih Guler, Kay Herbert, Xiaoxiong Mo, Gregory P. Greene
  • Patent number: 7407147
    Abstract: An automatic flush actuation apparatus, which is incorporated with a flushing system having a water inlet, a water outlet, and a water chamber communicating therebetween, that includes a valve member being moved by a flush lever for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing from the water inlet to the water outlet, and a sensor-operated powering assembly including a relief valve provided at the valve member for controlling the water flowing to the water outlet and an actuator arranged in such a manner that while sensing a presence of a user of the flushing system, the actuator is driven to move the relief valve to an opened position for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing to said water outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2008
    Assignee: Advanced Modern Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Jorge Maercovich, Jackson Lu, Leo Maercovich, Shao-Kuang Liu, Hsiang-Chin Kao
  • Patent number: 7396000
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to novel optical sensors and novel methods for sensing optical radiation. The novel optical sensors and the novel optical sensing methods are used, for example, for controlling the operation of automatic faucets and flushers. The novel sensors and flow controllers (including control electronics and valves) require only small amounts of electrical power for sensing users of bathroom facilities, and thus enable battery operation for many years. A passive optical sensor includes a light detector sensitive to ambient (room) light for controlling the operation of automatic faucets or automatic bathroom flushers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2008
    Assignee: Arichell Technologies Inc
    Inventors: Natan E. Parsons, Fatih Guler, Kay Herbert, Xiaoxiong Mo, Haiou Wu, Yue Zhang
  • Patent number: 7320146
    Abstract: An manual activation mechanism for an electronic flushometer system. A manual activation or override plate has a sensor switch directly coupled thereto and is hingedly connected to a sensor bracket. When a user presses the manual activation or override plate, the sensor switch acts against a bumper, which is compressed to create an electrical contact with a printed circuit board. The electrical contact results in the transmission of an electrical signal to a solenoid system, actuating a flushometer valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2008
    Assignee: Sloan Valve Company
    Inventors: Richard A. Nortier, Steven R. Oliver
  • Patent number: 7127749
    Abstract: An infrared sensor flushing control method and the plumbing fixture flushing system. The realization of flushing with two different jets is achieved by using the infrared sensor and MCU to control the electromagnetic-controlled valves. The MCU preinstalled with three different solid waste flushing procedures and one liquid waste flushing procedure, providing the water-saving consumption according to the requirements of each individual and the automatic discrimination of the usage. The integrated design also accomplishes the purpose of convenient installation and space saving.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Inventor: Ligong Ling
  • Patent number: 7028977
    Abstract: An automatic flush actuation apparatus, which is incorporated with a flushing system having a water inlet, a water outlet, and a water chamber communicating therebetween, that includes a valve member being moved by a flush lever for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing from the water inlet to the water outlet, and a sensor-operated powering assembly including a relief valve provided at the valve member for controlling the water flowing to the water outlet and an actuator arranged in such a manner that while sensing a presence of a user of the flushing system, the actuator is driven to move the relief valve to an opened position for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing to said water outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2006
    Inventors: Jorge Maercovich, Jackson Lu, Leo Maercovich, Shao-Kuang Liu, Hsiang-Chin Kao
  • Patent number: 6996863
    Abstract: An automatic faucet control device including an electromagnetic valve for opening and closing a flow channel of a faucet, a ray emitting device (5) for emitting infrared rays to a target to be detected, a ray receiving device (6) for receiving the infrared rays reflected by the target, a sensing decision device for the deciding presence or absence of the target by an output from the ray receiving device (6), and an electromagnetic valve controller for controlling the electromagnetic valve based on a signal from the sensing decision device. The ray emitting device (5) has a first polarizing plate (7) allowing a polarized light component to be transmitted, and the ray receiving device (6) has a second polarizing plate (8) for allowing a polarized light component different from the rays transmitted through the first polarizing plate (7) to be transmitted therethrough.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2006
    Assignee: Toto Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshiyuki Kaneko
  • Patent number: 6955334
    Abstract: A valve system (10) includes a piezoelectric transducer (44) mounted on its housing (16). To change the valve's state, a microcontroller (54) causes a valve driver (58) to drive current through the actuator's coil (12) at a relatively high level. It continues driving current through the coil (12) at the high level until the transducer's output reaches a magnitude characteristic of the disturbance that typically results when the actuator's armature (22) reaches the end of its travel. At that point, the microcontroller (54) reduces coil drive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2005
    Assignee: Arichell Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Natan E. Parsons, Xiaoxiong Mo
  • Patent number: 6948194
    Abstract: An object of the present invention is to provide a toilet cleaning device which is capable of cleaning a toilet stool by supplying cleaning water in an appropriate quantity corresponding to the state of usage by a user, which is provided with a self-diagnosis function for diagnosing cleaning water stoppage or the like, and which has a simple constitution so that maintenance can be performed easily. The output of a Doppler sensor 11 is amplified by an amp 31, and a frequency spectrum is determined by an FFT calculation portion 32. A flow rate is determined by conversion in a flow rate calculation portion 33 on the basis of the frequency spectrum. A controller 34 operates other devices on the basis of the flow rate calculated by the flow rate calculation portion 33 and the operational state of a cleaning instruction button 16. Cleaning water supply valve 36 is opened and closed in accordance with instructions from the controller 34.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2005
    Assignee: Toto, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kentaro Todoroki, Kuniaki Shinohara, Toshio Koguro, Yuichi Furuta, Mie Ikushima
  • Patent number: 6938280
    Abstract: A lavatory (1), in particular a toilet or urinal, with sensor-controlled flushing is proposed, which eliminates the need to exchange a battery, or at least ensures a considerably longer service life. This object is achieved by providing a solar cell (22, 23) to supply power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Aquis Sanitaer AG
    Inventors: Andreas Wawrla, Helmut Buechel
  • Patent number: 6923424
    Abstract: An automatic flush actuation apparatus, which is incorporated with a flushing system having a water inlet, a water outlet, and a water chamber communicating therebetween, that includes a valve member being moved by a flush lever for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing from the water inlet to the water outlet, and a sensor-operated powering assembly including a relief valve, which includes a resilient element for retaining a valve stopper to normally close the water passage, provided at the valve member for controlling the water flowing to the water outlet and an actuator arranged in such a manner that while sensing a presence of a user of the flushing system, the actuator is driven to move the relief valve to an opened position for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing to said water outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2005
    Inventors: Jorge Maercovich, Jackson Lu, Leo Maercovich, Shao-Kuang Liu, Hsiang-Chin Kao
  • Patent number: 6862754
    Abstract: A dual-phase flush urinal that maintains itself in a sufficiently sanitary condition with minimal water consumption. The urinal includes a piece of chinaware having a rear wall with a pair of sidewalls depending normally outward therefrom. A bottom extent of the sidewalls terminates in a curved bowl portion having a fluid well and a water drain therewithin. The sidewalls and rear wall together define a containment area in which an atmospheric vacuum breaker and valve means are disposed. The valve means is in electrical communication with a sensor that detects the presence of a user and has a first fluid discharge port in fluid communication with the bowl portion and a second fluid discharge port. Upon detection of the user, the sensor transmits a first signal to the valve means to initiate a first water exchange phase of the flush cycle. The first fluid discharge port provides water along an elongate channel to remove waste from the bowl portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2005
    Assignee: American Standard International Inc.
    Inventor: Peter V. DeMarco
  • Patent number: 6845524
    Abstract: A manual and automatic flusher includes an infrared sensor added to a conventional manual flusher, and the infrared sensor consists of an electronic eye and an electro-magnetic valve. The electro-magnetic valve has an iron core moved in and out for controlling opening and shutting of a block, and a communicating tube connected between a flow hole of the block and the upper end of a valve body to enable a hand rod and the infrared sensor separately operated by means of the flexibility of the communicating tube, not interfering with each other. Then the flusher can be used by a manual operation or by automatic operation, with a simple structure for manufacturing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Assignee: Hydrotek Corporation
    Inventor: Su Hwang
  • Patent number: 6845961
    Abstract: An automatic flush actuation apparatus, which is incorporated with a flushing system having a water inlet, a water outlet, and a water chamber communicating therebetween, that includes a valve member being moved by a flush lever for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing from the water inlet to the water outlet, and a sensor-operated powering assembly including a relief valve provided at the valve member for controlling the water flowing to the water outlet and an actuator arranged in such a manner that while sensing a presence of a user of the flushing system, the actuator is driven to move the relief valve to an opened position for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing to said water outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Inventors: Jorge Maercovich, Jackson Lu, Leo Maercovich, Shao-Kuang Liu, Hsiang-Chin Kao
  • Patent number: 6840496
    Abstract: An automatic flush actuation apparatus, which is incorporated with a flushing system having a water inlet, a water outlet, and a water chamber communicating therebetween, that includes a valve member being moved by a flush lever for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing from the water inlet to the water outlet, and a sensor-operated powering assembly including a relief valve provided at the valve member for controlling the water flowing to the water outlet and an actuator arranged in such a manner that while sensing a presence of a user of the flushing system, the actuator is driven to move the relief valve to an opened position for releasing the water pressure within the water chamber to allow the water passing to said water outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Assignee: Advance Modern Technologies Corp.
    Inventors: Jorge Maercovich, Jackson Lu, Leo Maerchovich, Shao-Kuang Liu, Hsiang-Chih Kao
  • Publication number: 20040262554
    Abstract: A flexible drive mechanism for a flushing apparatus actuated by movement of a flush handle via an actuation element is disclosed. The drive mechanism includes a housing and flexible drive system in the housing, the flexible drive system including an actuating element operable to move the flush handle between a non-actuating position and a full stop actuating position. The housing further includes first and second bracket halves and first and second removable insert halves for adapting the first and second bracket halves to substantially enclose and engage a bushing and nut and thereby secure said electromechanical flexible actuator to the flush lever of the sanitary fixture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2003
    Publication date: December 30, 2004
    Inventors: Kenneth J. Muderlak, George J. Jost
  • Publication number: 20040250343
    Abstract: A manual and automatic flusher includes an infrared sensor added to a conventional manual flusher, and the infrared sensor consists of an electronic eye and an electromagnetic valve. The electro-magnetic valve has an iron core moved in and out for controlling opening and shutting of a block, and a communicating tube connected between a flow hole of the block and the upper end of a valve body to enable a hand rod and the infrared sensor separately operated by means of the flexibility of the communicating tube, not interfering with each other. Then the flusher can be used by a manual operation or by automatic operation, with a simple structure for manufacturing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 11, 2003
    Publication date: December 16, 2004
    Applicant: HYDROTEK CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hwang Su
  • Patent number: 6691979
    Abstract: An automatic flusher employs an infrared-light-type object sensor to provide an output on the basis of which a control circuit decides whether to flush a toilet. After each pulse of transmitted radiation, the control circuit pushes a new entry onto stack if the resultant percentage of reflected radiation differs significantly from the last, and it includes in that entry's direction field an indication of whether the percentage change was positive or negative. Otherwise, the control circuit increments the existing top entry's duration field. From the numbers of entries in a row having a given direction and the sums of the values in their duration fields, the control circuit determines whether a user has approached the facility and then withdrawn from it, and it operates the flusher's valve accordingly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: Arichell Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Natan E. Parsons, Xiaoxiong Mo
  • Patent number: 6671890
    Abstract: An automatic water feed system and method for providing control of water to lavatory appliances upon sensing a user. The system having a control valve for controlling the flow of water, an artificial retina sensor for acquiring two dimensional images of a user adjacent the lavatory appliance, a memory for storing a predetermined characteristic of the acquired two dimensional images, and a comparison unit for comparing a subsequently acquired two dimensional image characteristic with the previously stored two dimensional image characteristic, whereby the control valve is activated when the differences between the previously and subsequently acquired two dimensional image characteristics satisfy a predetermined condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2004
    Assignee: San-Ei Faucet Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Akira Nishioka
  • Patent number: 6662382
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for the automatic release of a flushing process after use of a urinal or similar sanitary appliance. The invention is characterized in that at least one sensor is placed in the trap. When the level of the liquid in the trap changes, the sensor generates a switching impulse which controls a water electrovalve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: Rosemarie Brand-Gerhart
    Inventors: Hanns Rump, Rainer Kotte
  • Patent number: 6598245
    Abstract: An automatic water feed mechanism and method is provided by equipping a lavatory with a two dimensional sensor array such as a camera unit for monitoring a target area that a user may enter. An infrared emitter and an infrared detector can also be activated at low light levels. A two dimensional image signal can be processed and compared with a stored reference signal for activating the release of water. At a low ambient light, the infrared emitter unit can be activated to emit infrared rays which can then be detected when reflected by a user by the infrared detector. Such a detection can provide an alternative release of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2003
    Assignee: San-Ei Faucet Mfg. Co., LTD
    Inventor: Akira Nishioka
  • Publication number: 20030116736
    Abstract: A flexible drive mechanism for a flushing apparatus actuated by movement of a flush handle via an actuation element. The drive mechanism includes a housing and flexible drive system in the housing, the flexible drive system including an actuating element operable to move the flush handle between a non-actuating position and a full stop actuating position. The flexible drive system is maintained in substantial continuous contact with the flush handle as the flush handle moves to its full stop position, and the flexible drive system continues to operate without stalling after the flush handle reaches its full stop position as a support plate for the motor and flexible drive system changes position to provide flexure or “give” between the flush handle and the actuating element to prevent stalling of the flexible drive system. In another embodiment, the flexible drive system includes a cam having a main body part and a flexible body part, with a bias element between the body parts.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2001
    Publication date: June 26, 2003
    Inventor: Kenneth J. Muderlak
  • Patent number: 6581215
    Abstract: A sterilizing and air conditioning electronic urinal includes a power rectifier circuit, a microcomputer control unit, a sensitivity control circuit, time delay circuit, a high voltage generating circuit, an ozone generator, a mixing device, a flushing solenoid valve circuit, an heater, an air pump circuit, and others. By aforesaid components, the electronic urinal can be operated with the internal program of the microcomputer control unit and therefore, the objects of water-saving and foul-removing are achieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Inventor: Kuo-Cheng Tai
  • Publication number: 20030102450
    Abstract: An automatic flusher employs an infrared-light-type object sensor to provide an output on the basis of which a control circuit decides whether to flush a toilet. After each pulse of transmitted radiation, the control circuit pushes a new entry onto stack if the resultant percentage of reflected radiation differs significantly from the last, and it includes in that entry's direction field an indication of whether the percentage change was positive or negative. Otherwise, the control circuit increments the existing top entry's duration field. From the numbers of entries in a row having a given direction and the sums of the values in their duration fields, the control circuit determines whether a user has approached the facility and then withdrawn from it, and it operates the flusher's valve accordingly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2001
    Publication date: June 5, 2003
    Inventors: Natan E. Parsons, Xiaoxiong Mo
  • Patent number: RE42840
    Abstract: An object of the present invention is to provide a toilet cleaning device which is capable of cleaning a toilet stool by supplying cleaning water in an appropriate quantity corresponding to the state of usage by a user, which is provided with a self-diagnosis function for diagnosing cleaning water stoppage or the like, and which has a simple constitution so that maintenance can be performed easily. The output of a Doppler sensor 11 is amplified by an amp 31, and a frequency spectrum is determined by an FFT calculation portion 32. A flow rate is determined by conversion in a flow rate calculation portion 33 on the basis of the frequency spectrum. A controller 34 operates other devices on the basis of the flow rate calculated by the flow rate calculation portion 33 and the operational state of a cleaning instruction button 16. Cleaning water supply valve 36 is opened and closed in accordance with instructions from the controller 34.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2011
    Assignee: Toto, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kentaro Todoroki, Kuniaki Shinohara, Toshio Koguro, Yuichi Furuta, Mie Ikushima