Japanese toilet-maker Toto is making a stink with its poo-powered toilet bike.
It's not simply a publicity stunt, although the bike's website shows it being driven around to different areas in the country. The three-wheeled bike was originally designed and developed to show the popular toilet maker's commitment to make their business, products and services more environmentally friendly by the 2017 fiscal year. According to a report released by Toto, one of their goals is "of slashing CO2 emissions by over 50% (versus fiscal 1990 level)."
Though its design originally led people to believe that it was powered by human waste, it isn't. The bike is powered by biogas fuel, made from household wastewater and fertilized, purified, compressed livestock waste.
Toto has not yet decided whether the bike will be available for commercial consumption, though the official website says that the toilet maker is definitely not currently in the business of selling bikes or vehicles. But the bike made an appearance in Fujiwara showroom last week in its trip cross-country.
The toilet seat is essentially for show. The bike doesn't actually have the proper mechanisms to actually function as a toilet, so the toilet paper roll on the back would probably just be used to wipe off bugs.
In addition, it is important to note that, while the biogas is certainly better for the environment than gasoline, it would probably be difficult for city residents to get their hands on the necessary fuel. In fact, most people would not be able to access biogas, or even the ingredients necessary to make it.
Though the bike may seem funny, it may indeed serve a larger purpose. After all, we do need to think outside the box in terms of minimizing our damage to the environment, and the toilet bike is certainly eco-friendly. Between this bike and the invention published yesterday on Medical Daily that creates water literally out of thin air, we may be well on our way.
The bike's toilet also plays music and talks.
A video promoting the toilet bike in an advertisement can be seen here. This one is my favorite, but more can found here. It is in Japanese, but it's pretty amazing, even though I didn't understand any of it. Maybe it makes more sense in context.