I am about to begin potty training multiple little boys. I thought of an idea and was hoping somebody knew what kind of hardware I could use...

Ideally there will be a button the size of a sticker in the "sweet spot" of the toilet. When someone urinates on that spot, it would trigger something on a Raspberry Pi GPIO (not sure what to use yet - recording of people cheering? lighting up colorful LED lights? - suggestions welcome).

Now, what can I use for this "sticker"?

Some ideas included moisture sensor, temperature sensor and even an ammonia sensor. I haven't found anything that is in the right form factor.

Happy for all suggestions and inputs, even complicated ones... I am not afraid of getting my hands a little messy ;-)

Thanks in advance! ~Mo

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    As a parent of two now-grown boys, I can tell you that all you need is a square of toilet paper to play "sink the carrier". I've yet to meet a guy that didn't play that game instinctively. I'd be worried about technology over-complicating what should be a relaxing and natural process. Wire something up wrong and shock a kid, and you'll undo months of progress. Not a technical answer, but you did ask for inputs. – bobstro Mar 21 '17 at 15:13
  • I seem to recall that the academics at Cambridge were working on a new device called Raspberry Pee... I'm sure it will be out soon. – Seamus Feb 13 '20 at 7:05
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    Ping pong balls float and give little Johnny something to aim at. bounty.com/preschool-2-to-4-years/development/potty-training/… – Dougie Mar 14 '20 at 11:28

The reason you haven't found anything is that very few people would want a sensor installed in their toilet. More to the topic, I would go for a temperature sensor since it doesn't have to be in direct contact with the urine to work, and electronics work best when you don't expose them to corrosive environments.

  • Not something I'm really eyeing up for my house, but there does seem to be a truly gigantic market for people wanting a sensor installed in their toilet. Urinal activity sensors, for example, are a pretty big deal for water usage management. – goobering Mar 21 '17 at 13:32
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    @goobering Those sensors seem to simply detect the presence of a human nearby, so that the toilet can flush automatically when the user leaves. – Dmitry Grigoryev Mar 21 '17 at 14:10

A paddle wheel, with a magnet on its shaft and a sealed hall effect sensor. Though if you only want LEDs to light up, then driving a small generator from the wheel ( similar to light up tap temperature things ) would do and you don't have to consider any wiring.

  • I sincerely hope the paddle wheel's got an almighty IP rating. Nobody wants that cleaning gig. – goobering Mar 21 '17 at 13:32
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    I guess the open-mouthed clown used in old arcades would be inappropriate. – bobstro Mar 21 '17 at 15:15

I appreciate an electronic device as much as the next guy, however, the Dutch have provided an Easy, Safe and Self Explanatory solution. Fly Decal:

enter image description here

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    Brill! No one can resist peeing on a fly in the toilet - a cricket might be even better! This idea has legs! – Seamus Nov 9 '20 at 16:10

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