Title:
Automatic flushing apparatus of bidet and method of controlling the same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Provided are an automatic flushing apparatus of a bidet and a method of controlling the same. The automatic flushing apparatus includes: a flushing switch; a flushing drive motor driven under control of a controller; a flushing switch; a flushing drive motor driven under control of a controller; a rotating body connected to a shaft of the drive motor and having a magnet buried in its outer periphery; a hole sensor formed adjacent to an outer periphery of the rotating body to detect the magnet; a timer for counting seconds in real time; and a controller for driving the drive motor to set to an initial position such that the magnet is detected by the hole sensor when the flushing switch is input, and varying an operation time of the drive motor depending on urine or feces to perform the flushing operation. Therefore, it is possible to reduce water consumption, prevent leakage of water due to malfunction of a drive motor, and improve reliability of an automatic flushing operation by differently performing the flushing operation depending on urine or feces.



Inventors:
Kim, Joong-ki (Cheonan-si, KR)
Application Number:
11/589510
Publication Date:
11/08/2007
Filing Date:
10/30/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D9/08; A47K3/20; A47K4/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090255046DISPOSABLE COLLAPSIBLE PORTABLE TOILETOctober, 2009Carter et al.
20080120773Faucet Body that is Worked Easily and QuicklyMay, 2008Lin
20070169255Cover for a wall-hung urinal as well as cover or seat board for a toiletJuly, 2007Benkhardt et al.
20060096013Odorless commodeMay, 2006Dang
20050055764Affordable bath lift and method thereforMarch, 2005Bigda
20090205125PLASTIC BATH BARAugust, 2009Forrest
20060096016Ostomy bag emptying accessory for use with a toiletMay, 2006Krowl
20070089224Releasable handle mechanism for a disposable toilet implementApril, 2007Wildauer et al.
20060277671Toilet ventilation system with replacement filtrationDecember, 2006Jones
20070151011ANTI-SPLASHBACK URINALJuly, 2007Brown
20080282462Portable bathtub apparatusNovember, 2008Williams



Primary Examiner:
YOUNKINS, KAREN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CANTOR COLBURN LLP (Hartford, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An automatic flushing apparatus of a bidet, comprising: a flushing switch; a flushing drive motor driven under control of a controller; a rotating body connected to a shaft of the drive motor and having a magnet buried in its outer periphery; a hole sensor formed adjacent to an outer periphery of the rotating body to detect the magnet; a timer for counting seconds in real time; and a controller for driving the drive motor to set to an initial position such that the magnet is detected by the hole sensor when the flushing switch is input, and varying an operation time of the drive motor depending on urine or feces to perform the flushing operation.

2. A method of controlling an automatic flushing apparatus, comprising: a first step of inputting a flushing switch: a second step of rotating a drive motor under control of a controller when the flushing switch is input, and stopping the drive motor to set to an initial position when a magnet attached to an outer periphery of the rotating body is detected by a hole sensor; a third step of determining an input state of the flushing switch after the initial position setting; a fourth step of driving, at the controller, the drive motor for T seconds and then stopping the drive motor when it is determined that the result is urine; and a fifth step of driving, at the controller, the drive motor for F seconds and then stopping the drive motor when it is determined that the result is feces.

3. The method according to claim 2, wherein the T seconds are smaller than the F seconds.

4. The method according to claim 2, further comprising the step of additionally driving the drive motor until the magnet is detected by the hole sensor, after driving the drive motor for the T or F seconds, such that the initial setting operation is omitted during a new flushing operation.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of Korean Patent Application No. 10-2006-0040159, filed May 3, 2006, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an automatic flushing apparatus of a bidet and a method of controlling the same and, more particularly, to an automatic flushing apparatus of a bidet and a method of controlling the same that are capable of reducing water consumption, preventing leakage of water due to malfunction of a drive motor, and improving reliability of an automatic flushing operation by differently performing the flushing operation depending on urine or feces.

2. Description of the Related Art

Generally, an automatic flushing apparatus of a bidet is an apparatus for automatically flushing by operating a flushing switch after stool.

Such a conventional automatic flushing apparatus is configured to adjust the amount of water supplied to a stool by driving a flushing drive motor. That is, the flushing operation of the bidet is performed during operation of the flushing drive motor.

In addition, the conventional automatic flushing apparatus uses two lead switches for adjusting the amount of flushing water to control operation of the drive motor in response to contact between the lead switches.

However, since the conventional automatic flushing apparatus controls the drive motor using two lead switches, the contact may be damaged by a magnet functioning as a stopper to make it difficult to precisely set an initial position of the drive motor, thereby making it impossible to precisely adjust the flushing water amount depending on urine or feces.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In order to solve the foregoing and/or other problems, it is an aspect of the present invention to provide an automatic flushing apparatus of a bidet and a method of controlling the same that are capable of reducing water consumption, preventing leakage of water due to malfunction of a drive motor, and improving reliability of an automatic flushing operation by differently performing the flushing operation depending on urine or feces.

Additional aspects and advantages of the present invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention.

According to an aspect of the invention, an automatic flushing apparatus of a bidet includes: a flushing switch; a flushing drive motor driven under control of a controller; a flushing switch; a flushing drive motor driven under control of a controller; a rotating body connected to a shaft of the drive motor and having a magnet buried in its outer periphery; a hole sensor formed adjacent to an outer periphery of the rotating body to detect the magnet; a timer for counting seconds in real time; and a controller for driving the drive motor to set to an initial position such that the magnet is detected by the hole sensor when the flushing switch is input, and varying an operation time of the drive motor depending on urine or feces to perform the flushing operation.

According to another aspect of the invention, a method of controlling an automatic flushing apparatus includes: a first step of inputting a flushing switch: a second step of rotating a drive motor under control of a controller when the flushing switch is input, and stopping the drive motor to set to an initial position when a magnet attached to an outer periphery of the rotating body is detected by a hole sensor; a third step of determining an input state of the flushing switch after the initial position setting; a fourth step of driving, at the controller, the drive motor for T seconds and then stopping the drive motor when it is determined that the result is urine; and a fifth step of driving, at the controller, the drive motor for F seconds and then stopping the drive motor when it is determined that the result is feces.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and/or other aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an automatic flushing apparatus of a bidet in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic view showing an operation state of a rotating body and a hole sensor employed to an automatic flushing apparatus of a bidet in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a flowchart showing a control procedure of an automatic flushing apparatus of a bidet in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Hereinafter, exemplary embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 3, an automatic flushing apparatus of a bidet in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention includes a flushing switch 1, a flushing drive motor 3 driven under control of a controller 2, a rotating body 4 connected to a shaft of the drive motor 3 and having a magnet 5 buried in its outer periphery, a hole sensor 6 formed adjacent to an outer periphery of the rotating body 4 to detect the magnet 5, a timer 7 for counting seconds in real time, and the controller 2 for driving the drive motor 3 to set an initial position such that the magnet is detected by the hole sensor 6 when the flushing switch 1 is input, and varying an operation time of the drive motor 3 depending on urine or feces to perform the flushing operation.

In addition, a method of controlling an automatic flushing apparatus includes a first step of inputting a flushing switch 1, a second step of rotating a drive motor 3 under control of a controller 2 when the flushing switch 1 is input, and stopping the drive motor 3 to set to an initial position when a magnet 5 attached to an outer periphery of the rotating body 4 is detected by a hole sensor 6, a third step of determining the input state of the flushing switch 1 after the initial position setting, a fourth step of driving the drive motor 3 for T seconds and then stopping the drive motor 3 when it is determined that the result is urine, under control of the controller, and a fifth step of driving the drive motor 3 for F seconds and then stopping the drive motor 3 when it is determined that the result is feces.

Here, the T seconds may be shorter than the F seconds.

Operation of the present invention will now be described.

First, when a user seats on a toilet seat, and then inputs the flushing switch 1 after stool, the controller 2 confirms the input of the flushing switch 1 and drives the drive motor 3 in one direction in order to set the drive motor 3 to an initial position.

When the drive motor 3 rotates, the rotating body 4 disposed at a shaft of the drive motor 3 operates, and the magnet 5 attached at an outer periphery of the rotating body 4 is closed to the hole sensor 6.

The hole sensor 6 outputs a predetermined signal to the controller 2 when the magnet 5 is detected, and the controller 2 stops the drive motor 3 to set to the initial position in response to the detection signal output from the hole sensor 6.

As described above, setting the drive motor 3 to the initial position on the initial driving is for reconciling the initial driving position of the driving motor 3 to precisely control the amount of water supplied to a stool during the flushing operation.

When the drive motor is set to the initial position as described above, the controller 2 determines whether the input from the flushing switch 1 manipulated by a user is urine or feces.

Since the flushing switch 1 is formed of a urine switch and a feces switch, the controller 2 can recognize urine or feces according to the kind of switch input by the user.

As a result of the determination, in the case of the urine, the controller 2 drives the drive motor 3 for T seconds counted by the timer 7 to perform the flushing, and in the case of the feces, the controller 2 drives the drive motor 3 for F seconds counted by the timer 7 to perform the flushing. At this time, the T seconds may be shorter than the F seconds.

That is, the controller 2 flushes a small amount of water for a short time of T seconds in the case of the urine, and flushes a large amount of water for a long time of F seconds in the case of the feces.

As described above, the controller 2 can precisely controls the flushing amount according to urine or feces.

In addition, when the drive motor 3 is stopped in a state that the drive motor 3 is additionally driven to be set to the initial position until the magnet 5 is detected by the hole sensor 6 after driving the drive motor 3 for T or F seconds, the initial setting operation can be omitted during the following flushing operation to more rapidly perform the flushing operation.

As can be seen from the foregoing, an automatic flushing apparatus of a bidet and a method of controlling the same of the present invention vary an operation time of a drive motor to perform flushing according to urine or feces in a state that the drive motor is driven to be set to an initial position. Therefore, it is possible to reconcile the drive motor to an initial operating position of the flushing, and differently perform the flushing operation depending on urine or feces, thereby reducing water consumption, preventing water leakage due to malfunction of the drive motor, and improving reliability of automatic flushing operation.

Although a few embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes may be made in these embodiments without departing from the principles and spirit of the invention, the scope of which is defined in the appended claims and their equivalents.