Jay Moody and 3 OthersRyan Swanke
Evan Vassilovski
Aiden Chitkara

The game in action.


Evan Vassilovski and 2 OthersAiden Chitkara
Ryan Swanke

UR-IN THE GAME creates an entertaining and innovative way to use the restroom that captures the full attention of users. The game uses capacitive touch sensors built into a urinal and consists of three targets, with three Neopixel lights that lie directly above each target. The game begins when a person urinates on one of the three targets. After that, a blue light will flash over a random target and will continuously switch at random for the duration of the twenty-second game. The goal is to hit the blue target. If the sensor detects a hit on the blue target, the light will turn from blue to green. However, If it detects a hit on the wrong target, a red light will flash over that target. For each green light, the score increases by 10, and for each red light, the score decreases by 2. The score is registered approximately 50 times per second, meaning if you hold a green light for an entire second, the score will increase by approximately 500.

What also makes UR-IN THE GAME so innovative is that it can be used as a marketing tool or even for potty training. For example, a restaurant or an arcade would want to install our product because word would quickly spread about this unique game, attracting more people to the business. With the user’s attention so fully focused on the game, targeted marketing messages like “remember to conserve water” or “drink more Mountain Dew” or “today only drink refills 30% off” can be displayed on the scoreboard along with the score. For potty training, it would encourage young boys-in-training to use the toilet instead of peeing in their diapers, and then to aim for the toilet and not anywhere else.


Aiden Chitkara and 2 OthersEvan Vassilovski
Ryan Swanke

During a class brainstorm, Mr. Moody asked the question “how can we improve toilets?”  This triggered the idea to insert some type of game inside of a urinal.  Although we may have all had a lot of fun coming up with radical ideas, we all came to the realization that we struck gold with this contemporary idea.

Shortly after selecting the idea of creating a urinal game for our final project, we took a field trip to the bathroom.  The team discovered that most urinals have a curved back (meaning that the backbone of the urinal is not in a 180° slant).  We decided early on in the process that we wanted our model to have a “flat” back.  This idea of a flat back would be more simple because our targets would just be in a constant position and overall be easier to connect the targets and lights to the Arduino.

Our first goal in the building process was getting an LED to light up when hit by a liquid stream. We first thought that a pressure sensor might be a good approach, and purchased some piezo discs that can detect pressure, but before they even arrived we decided to test whether a capacitive touch sensor would be able to detect when someone was peeing on it. We connected a penny to the send and receive pins of an Arduino with a 1.1 megaohm resistor in the loop to create the sensor, and it easily detected a finger touch.  Then we tried squirting salt water on it, and that also worked.  Then we tried plain tap water and that worked as well. 

The team really wanted to get the wheels moving, even if that meant some slight failure.  We wanted to take some risks so we used one penny and put it on top of a lamentation. After we sprayed some water on this and we found that the Arduino detected this.  

We then tested it with two different pennies right next to each other, and only sprayed water on one of them; we were hoping for the Arduino that was receiving the stream to read proportionally more voltage from the penny that was being hit with the water. This worked. We then tested the other penny by spraying water on it, and it worked as well. We decided to add a third and final penny and moved on to designing the urinal itself.

After a little bit of research, we found Yeongwoo Kim’s urinal model.  This model is unique because it incorporates a sink into the urinal and uses the water from the hand wash to flush the urine.  It was also convenient for us because it is boxy with a flat part, making it easy to build. it has a slanted back, opposed to the conventional rounded back like most urinals.

We finished off the last bit of the semester by putting together Yeongwoo Kim’s urinal. Instead of using plastic we used a combination of wood and acrylic.  We used wood as borders, and used acrylic for the sink portion of the urinal as well as the flat back.

While implementing the Arduino portion of the project into the urinal we faced some design thinking challenges.  When we coded the neopixels we designed it so that when the game started the target you wanted to aim at was red.  When you hit that correct target the neopixels turned green.  If you hit the wrong target the neopixel was blue.  After testing this system out, we decided that we didn’t like the color combinations.  We were happy with the neopixels lighting up green if you hit the correct target, but we wanted to make the neopixel turn red if you hit the wrong target.  We thought this was a lot easier for the user because red is commonly known to be a negative color.  Switching the neopixels from blue to red meant that we had to adjust the code to show that the target meant to be aimed at had to switch to blue.  

Another user challenge that we discovered after testing out the game was how long the light stayed before flashing to a new target. When we first coded the neopixels, we accidentally set the time between each target way too short.  We increased the time because we didn't desire to have a desire to have the user be constantly adjusting their aim.

If we were given more time to work on our project, the next step would be to code a scoreboard made entirely out of neopixels. A scoreboard would be a lot more user-friendly than squinting to read your score off of a mac.