A product with the formidable name of the Robo-Humany Urine Aspiration Diaper has made its debut at Tokyo's Eco-Products 2011 trade show, and it's quite a bit more advanced than your average pull-up.
The setup is simple: there's a pocket for one's penis, an electronic sensor, a suction tube and a vacuum tank. When the diaper detects urine, the vacuum starts sucking until the pad becomes dry.
The diaper was flooded with liquid when demoed at the show, and apparently a scant 0.01 ounces of liquid remained in the already lightweight, compact pad. Its maker, Japan's Unicharm Humancare says after use it is only one tenth of the weight of regular adult diapers.
Some key facts were left unreported. First, how much liquid was used in the demo and how much it can handle overall. Second, exactly how much hoovering is required to empty the diaper? Third, well, what about number two (of the biological kind)?
All the questions are sure to be answered when the product hits the marketplace; plus potential benefits are great.
The diaper was designed with the elderly population and the environment in mind. The removal of the urine could mean less diaper changes which would be mean less heading to landfills, fewer trips to the toilet to change that can be hazardous for the elderly and potentially less nursing staff required to deal with changes.
Given a bit of time however, it isn't hard to think of ways men everywhere could use this assuming they make a portable model. Of course gaming comes to mind — why bother going away from keyboard when you have a Robo-Humany? Then there are cross-country road trips. Or, concerts and sporting events.
With a few product enhancements — a little color and a college decal for the tank and it could even have a place at Spring Break.
The tank is priced at 100,000 yen ($1,284 USD), but Japanese health insurance lowers the cost to 10,000 yen ($128 USD). The diapers are about $3 each.
No word on whether the diaper will be picked up in the U.S. or whether there is a move to create a woman's version.