Shit, sweet smell of money, who cares and time to change !?

Excuseme the fowl language, but it’s appropriate here.

We all know (or will) the insane cost of them. We spend lots of money on them on the household and institutional budgets. Several times a day we throw away these 30 cents items, often without needing to. Every human will or have used them for years. For multinational corporations they are the sweet smell of money, for us…well it depends. Surely a disaster for the environment.

What are we talking about?

This is the situation. You are a caring person and you see tears. What’s the problem? Parents know the drill. The usual detection algorithm starts. A check flowchart: pain? hunger? …. or is it the ‘bottom line’?

The sweet or not so-sweet smell tells you what you have to do.

You will also know about the silent-positive; no alarm and no change leads to a pain in the bottom. We dry the tears and invest in curing the wounds. Soon this leads you to adopt the institutional approach.

The institutional approach is to change at specific times, whether needed or not. The vacant slot is usually before feeding and ofthen clean ones goes to pollute our dump-yard. What goes in, must come out and then the sh.t hits the fan. The unscheduled aftermath sometimes goes undetected (silent-positive). This scheme goes for our elderly as well. The poor person is left unchanged.

You know what we are talking about here, don’t you? DIAPERS. Those wonderful disposable ones that have released tremendous time resources, given mothers time to breathe, for which, we gladly pay the price.

What’s the problem? The issues are 1. many times diapers are changed un-necessarily and 2. many times they are NOT changed at the right moment. First case is a waste of money and environmental resources. Second case is health hazard (especially for the elderly).

The theoretical solution is simple: Change when needed.

In practice: you can’t go around sniffing there every 20 minutes, especially not as institutional employee.


With cheap modern technology you could easily make a ‘pamper sniffer’ (please be aware of active patents). This 10€ sniffer would signal yellow (a drop of pee is absorbed so it’s not yet urgent) red (the sh.t has hit the fan, change now). Those IOT freaks will upgrade to an app telling the carer: what, who, and the GPS coordinates of the sinner.

Critical obstacle:

You think Mr. Pumpers will sponsor a 50% reduction of his profit?


Someone could get very rich, society will save and environment spared. Personally I would gladly have paid 100€ for a ‘pamper sniffer’ when my kids were small. I’d happily pay 200€ as a gift for my dad and please go ahead charge my children 1000€ when the time comes where I’m in deep …. (provided the nurse obay the alarm).

Bill of materials (draft). Moist sensor/gas sensor, battery, led/buzzer/xxx, microcontroller…

Or letting go for good…

True to that. I suspect from how you approach this that the ecofriendly solutions are just smokescreen?

I’m a bit swamped now, but if anyone is interested to go through numerous existing sensor apps and see if there is something there.

I like ecofriendly solutions

The issue was another: Waste of resources due to untimely change and lack of timely change

None have to do with the type of Diaper :wink:

I know people that left to diaper industry

and I know some profs that work in an appropriate sensor field (e.g. Petra Pötschke in Dresden).

Hit me if you’d like to sit down to brainstorm a little.


Hi, @trythis, I did some research when my children were small. There are a number of patents (probably run out now) having excellent solutions. I think the solution is probably a two piece combination:

1 controlling unit

2 disposable/washable sensor

At the time I considered a simple humidity sensor (measuring the impedance in the diaper, but its only effective for urine. What is the current state of gas detectors? A small one that could detect some compound in feces?

I also have ideas regarding more efficient or senior friendly showering (hygiene) methods, mostly foam based.

Recently I brainstormed for a self driving car mod ( that could work in rehab as well, so some ideas are still warm. I had actually proposed to make it incontinence friendly as well. :slight_smile: