Title:
Electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl and opening and closing method for the same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed herein is an electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl. The toilet bowl includes a main toilet bowl body, a toilet cover, a motor assembly, a friction hinge, and a detection means. The toilet cover is coupled to the main toilet bowl body in a hinged manner so as to be able to rotate and is configured to open and close the main toilet bowl. The motor assembly is mounted on the main toilet bowl body and electrically operates the toilet cover. The friction hinge allows the toilet cover to be manually opened and closed in the state in which external power necessary to operate the motor assembly and the detection means is completely interrupted, and a detection means. The detection means has one magnet and two hall sensors so as to detect the opening and closing of the toilet cover and the motion of the toilet cover.



Inventors:
Jung, Sung Tai (Gyunggi-do, KR)
Kang, Yun Mo (Seoul, KR)
Application Number:
11/905316
Publication Date:
04/10/2008
Filing Date:
09/28/2007
Assignee:
SAMSUNG ELECTRO-MECHANICS CO., LTD. (Suwon, KR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K13/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BOECKMANN, JASON J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STAAS & HALSEY LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl, comprising: an opening and closing means coupled to a main toilet bowl body in a hinged manner, and configured to open and close the main toilet bowl body; and an electrical means mounted in the main toilet bowl body and configured to electrically operate the opening and closing means; wherein the opening and closing means is automatically opened and closed by the electrical means, which is controlled in response to an external input signal or motion of the opening and closing means.

2. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 1, further comprising detection means for detecting opening and closing of the opening and closing means, and motion of the opening and closing means, wherein the detection means controls a rotational direction and operation of the electrical means.

3. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 2, wherein the detection means comprises one magnetic body mounted in the opening and closing means, and two hall sensors, that is, first and second hall sensors, which are mounted on the main toilet bowl body and operate in response to magnetic force of the magnetic body, wherein the first hall sensor operates in response to the magnetic force of the magnetic body when the opening and closing means is closed, and the second hall sensor operates in response to the magnetic force of the magnetic body when the opening and closing means is opened.

4. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 3, further comprising a friction hinge for allowing the opening and closing means to be manually opened and closed when external power necessary to operate the electrical means and the first and second hall sensors is completely interrupted.

5. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 4, wherein the friction hinge comprises: a connection bracket configured such that a first arm thereof is coupled with a rotational shaft of the electrical means so that the rotational shaft can rotate, and such that a second arm is fixedly mounted on the opening and closing means; and a pair of friction rings inserted into the rotational shaft such that a predetermined frictional force is applied to the rotational shaft.

6. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 5, wherein a torque caused by the frictional force of the friction rings is greater than a torque caused by a driving force of the electrical means, but is less than a torque caused by external force that is applied to the opening and closing means at a time of manual opening and closing.

7. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 6, wherein the electrical means comprises a reducer that increases driving force by decreasing a number of rotations of the rotational shaft, wherein the reducer comprises a plurality of planetary gears and a plurality of carriers, which are mounted in an axial direction of the rotational shaft.

8. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 3, wherein operation of the electrical means is stopped when the first or second hall sensor detects magnetic force, and a subsequent rotational direction of the electrical means is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is opened or closed by the first or second hall sensor, which has detected magnetic force.

9. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 8, further comprising a friction hinge for allowing the opening and closing means to be manually opened and closed when external power necessary to operate the electrical means and the first and second hall sensors is completely interrupted.

10. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 9, wherein the friction hinge comprises: a connection bracket configured such that a first arm thereof is coupled with a rotational shaft of the electrical means so that the rotational shaft can rotate, and such that a second arm is fixedly mounted on the opening and closing means; and a pair of friction rings inserted into the rotational shaft such that a predetermined frictional force is applied to the rotational shaft.

11. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 10, wherein a torque caused by the frictional force of the friction rings is greater than a torque caused by a driving force of the electrical means, but is less than a torque caused by external force that is applied to the opening and closing means at a time of manual opening and closing.

12. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 11, wherein the electrical means comprises a reducer that increases driving force by decreasing a number of rotations of the rotational shaft, wherein the reducer comprises a plurality of planetary gears and a plurality of carriers, which are mounted in an axial direction of the rotational shaft.

13. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 4, wherein the electrical means operates when variation in intensity of magnetic force attributable to motion of the opening and closing means is detected by the first or second hall sensor.

14. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 13, further comprising a friction hinge for allowing the opening and closing means to be manually opened and closed when external power necessary to operate the electrical means and the first and second hall sensors is completely interrupted.

15. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 14, wherein the friction hinge comprises: a connection bracket configured such that a first arm thereof is coupled with a rotational shaft of the electrical means so that the rotational shaft can rotate, and such that a second arm is fixedly mounted on the opening and closing means; and a pair of friction rings inserted into the rotational shaft such that a predetermined frictional force is applied to the rotational shaft.

16. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 15, wherein a torque caused by the frictional force of the friction rings is greater than a torque caused by a driving force of the electrical means, but is less than a torque caused by external force that is applied to the opening and closing means at a time of manual opening and closing.

17. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 16, wherein the electrical means comprises a reducer that increases driving force by decreasing a number of rotations of the rotational shaft, wherein the reducer comprises a plurality of planetary gears and a plurality of carriers, which are mounted in an axial direction of the rotational shaft.

18. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 5, wherein, when the opening and closing means is closed, the first hall sensor detects magnetic force, the rotational direction of the electrical means is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is opened, and the opening and closing means is automatically opened until the second hall sensor detects magnetic force and the electrical means is stopped when the external input signal is received or the opening and closing means is moved by external force, and when the opening and closing means is opened, the second hall sensor detects magnetic force, the rotational direction of the electrical means is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is closed, and the opening and closing means is automatically closed until the first hall sensor detects magnetic force and the electrical means is stopped when the external input signal is received or the opening and closing means is moved by external force.

19. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 18, further comprising a friction hinge for allowing the opening and closing means to be manually opened and closed when external power necessary to operate the electrical means and the first and second hall sensors is completely interrupted.

20. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 19, wherein the friction hinge comprises: a connection bracket configured such that a first arm thereof is coupled with a rotational shaft of the electrical means so that the rotational shaft can rotate, and such that a second arm is fixedly mounted on the opening and closing means; and a pair of friction rings inserted into the rotational shaft such that a predetermined fictional force is applied to the rotational shaft.

21. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 20, wherein a torque caused by the frictional force of the friction rings is greater than a torque caused by a driving force of the electrical means, but is less than a torque caused by external force that is applied to the opening and closing means at a time of manual opening and closing.

22. The toilet bowl as set forth in claim 21, wherein the electrical means comprises a reducer that increases driving force by decreasing a number of rotations of the rotational shaft, wherein the reducer comprises a plurality of planetary gears and a plurality of carriers, which are mounted in an axial direction of the rotational shaft.

23. An opening and closing method for an electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl, the opening and closing method comprising: (a) detecting opening and closing of opening and closing means using a magnetic body, mounted in the opening and closing means, and first and second hall sensors, mounted on a main toilet bowl body, and determining a rotational direction of electrical means; (b) causing the opening and closing means to be automatically opened and closed by operating the electrical means in response to an external input signal; and (c) stopping the electrical means when magnetic force is detected by the first or second sensor.

24. The opening and closing method as set forth in claim 23, wherein, at the detecting the opening and closing of the opening and closing means, the first hall sensor operates in response to magnetic force of the magnetic body when the opening and closing means is closed, and the second hall sensor operates in response to magnetic force of the magnetic body when the opening and closing means is opened, wherein the rotational direction of the electrical means is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is opened when magnetic force is detected by the first hall sensor, and is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is closed when magnetic force is detected by the second hall sensor.

25. The opening and closing method as set forth in claim 23, wherein, at the stopping the electrical means, the first hall sensor operates in response to magnetic force of the magnetic body when the opening and closing means is closed, and the second hall sensor operates in response to magnetic force of the magnetic body when the opening and closing means is opened, wherein a subsequent rotational direction of the electrical means is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is opened when magnetic force is detected by the first hall sensor, and the rotational direction of the electrical means is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is closed when magnetic force is detected by the second hall sensor.

26. The opening and closing method as set forth in claim 23, further comprising, after the detecting the opening and closing of the opening and closing means, detecting motion of the opening and closing means, which is caused by external force, and operating the electrical means, wherein, when the first or second hall sensor detects variation in magnetic force, attributable to the opening and closing means, the opening and closing means is automatically opened and closed by causing the electrical means to operate in the opening or closing direction, determined at the detecting the opening and closing of the opening and closing means.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of Korean Patent Application No. 10-2006-0098051, filed on Oct. 9, 2006, entitled “Toilet Bowl to be Electrically Opened and Closed and the Opening and Closing Method for the same,” which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety into this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a toilet bowl and, more particularly, to an electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl and an opening and closing method for the toilet bowl, in which a toilet bowl cover is automatically opened and closed using external power.

2. Description of the Related Art

Generally, a toilet bowl is a flush toilet bowl that is provided in each bathroom in homes or buildings, and is configured such that a user lifts a toilet bowl cover covering a main toilet bowl body to relieve him/herself, relieves him/herself in the toilet bowl, causes excrement to be discharged to a water purification tank by manipulating a discharge lever, and then covers the main toilet bowl body by lowering the toilet bowl cover. Such a prior art toilet bowl is schematically shown in FIG. 7.

As shown in FIG. 7, the prior art toilet bowl 300 includes a main toilet bowl body 310, a toilet bowl cover 320, and a toilet seat 330.

The main toilet bowl body 310 is used for a user to sit thereon and relieve him/herself, and a discharge aperture 311 for allowing a user to relieve him/herself is formed in the central portion thereof. Although the discharge aperture 311 is not shown, an excrement discharging pipe for discharging excrement is connected to a water purification tank. Furthermore, the main toilet bowl body 310 is formed integrally with a water tank 312 at the rear end thereof.

The water tank 312 is used to provide a predetermined amount of washing water, and a drainpipe (not shown) connected to the main toilet bowl body 310 is formed inside the water tank 312. The water tank 312 is selectively opened or closed by the user who has finished relieving him/herself, and thus the excrement along with the washing water is discharged to the water purification tank.

The toilet bowl cover 320 is coupled to the main toilet bowl body 110 in a hinged manner. In greater detail, one end of the toilet bowl cover 320 is coupled to an opening and closing means for opening and closing the discharge aperture 311 so that to the toilet bowl cover 320 can rotate.

The toilet seat 330 is used for the user to sit thereon when relieving him/herself. One end of the toilet seat 330 is coupled to the main toilet bowl body 310 so that the toilet seat 330 can rotate.

However, the toilet bowl 300, constructed as described above, is inconvenient to use because users must lift the toilet bowl cover 320 by hand to relieve themselves and because the toilet seat 330 must be lifted in the case where a male urinates.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention has been made keeping in mind the above problems occurring in the prior art, and the present invention is intended to provide an electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl and a method of opening and closing the toilet bowl, which cause a toilet bowl cover and a toilet seat to be automatically opened and closed using an electrical means that operates in response to an external input signal or to the motion of the toilet bowl cover, thus enabling a user to more conveniently use the toilet bowl.

The present invention provides an electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl, including an opening and closing means coupled to a main toilet bowl body in a hinged manner, and configured to open and close the main toilet bowl body; and an electrical means mounted in the main toilet bowl body and configured to electrically operate the opening and closing means; wherein the opening and closing means is automatically opened and closed by the electrical means, which is controlled in response to an external input signal or the motion of the opening and closing means.

Furthermore, the toilet bowl further includes a detection means for detecting the opening and closing of the opening and closing means, and the motion of the opening and closing means, wherein the detection means controls the rotational direction and operation of the electrical means.

The detection means includes one magnetic body mounted in the opening and closing means, and two hall sensors, that is, first and second hall sensors, which are mounted on the main toilet bowl body and operate in response to the magnetic force of the magnetic body, wherein the first hall sensor operates in response to the magnetic force of the magnetic body when the opening and closing means is closed, and the second hall sensor operates in response to the magnetic force of the magnetic body when the opening and closing means is opened.

Furthermore, the operation of the electrical means is stopped when the first or second hall sensor detects magnetic force, and the subsequent rotational direction of the electrical means is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is opened or closed by the first or second hall sensor, which has detected magnetic force.

Furthermore, the electrical means operates when variation in the intensity of magnetic force attributable to the motion of the opening and closing means is detected by the first or second hall sensor.

When the opening and closing means is closed, the first hall sensor detects magnetic force, the rotational direction of the electrical means is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is opened, and the opening and closing means is automatically opened until the second hall sensor detects magnetic force and the electrical means is stopped when the external input signal is received or the opening and closing means is moved by external force, and

when the opening and closing means is opened, the second hall sensor detects magnetic force, the rotational direction of the electrical means is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is closed, and the opening and closing means is automatically closed until the first hall sensor detects magnetic force and the electrical means is stopped when the external input signal is received or the opening and closing means is moved by external force.

The toilet bowl further includes a friction hinge for allowing the opening and closing means to be manually opened and closed when external power necessary to operate the electrical means and the first and second hall sensors is completely interrupted.

The friction hinge includes a connection bracket configured such that a first arm thereof is coupled with a rotational shaft of the electrical means so that the rotational shaft can rotate, and such that a second arm is fixedly mounted on the opening and closing means; and a pair of friction rings inserted into the rotational shaft such that a predetermined frictional force is applied to the rotational shaft.

Furthermore, a torque caused by the frictional force of the friction rings is greater than a torque caused by the driving force of the electrical means, but is less than a torque caused by external force that is applied to the opening and closing means at a time of manual opening and closing.

Furthermore, the electrical means comprises a reducer that increases driving force by decreasing the number of rotations of the rotational shaft, wherein the reducer comprises a plurality of planetary gears and a plurality of carriers, which are mounted in the axial direction of the rotational shaft.

In addition, the present invention provides an opening and closing method for an electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl, the opening and closing method includes (a) detecting the opening and closing of opening and closing means using a magnetic body, mounted in the opening and closing means, and first and second hall sensors, mounted on a main toilet bowl body, and determining the rotational direction of electrical means; (b) causing the opening and closing means to be automatically opened and closed by operating the electrical means in response to an external input signal; and (c) stopping the electrical means when magnetic force is detected by the first or second sensor.

Furthermore, at the detecting the opening and closing of the opening and closing means, the first hall sensor operates in response to the magnetic force of the magnetic body when the opening and closing means is closed, and the second hall sensor operates in response to the magnetic force of the magnetic body when the opening and closing means is opened, wherein the rotational direction of the electrical means is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is opened when magnetic force is detected by the first hall sensor, and is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is closed when magnetic force is detected by the second hall sensor.

Furthermore, at the stopping the electrical means, the first hall sensor operates in response to the magnetic force of the magnetic body when the opening and closing means is closed, and the second hall sensor operates in response to the magnetic force of the magnetic body when the opening and closing means is opened, wherein the subsequent rotational direction of the electrical means is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is opened when magnetic force is detected by the first hall sensor, and the rotational direction of the electrical means is determined to be a direction in which the opening and closing means is closed when magnetic force is detected by the second hall sensor.

Furthermore, the opening and closing method further includes, after the detecting the opening and closing of the opening and closing means, detecting the motion of the opening and closing means, which is caused by external force, and operating the electrical means, wherein, when the first or second hall sensor detects variation in magnetic force, attributable to the opening and closing means, the opening and closing means is automatically opened and closed by causing the electrical means to operate in the opening or closing direction, determined at the detecting the opening and closing of the opening and closing means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of an electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic partial perspective view of the toilet bowl of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a schematic sectional view of the toilet bowl of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a schematic perspective view of an electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 5A and 5B are schematic partial sectional views illustrating the operation of the toilet bowl of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 6A and 6B are flowcharts illustrating opening and closing methods for the toilet bowl of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 7 is a schematic perspective view of a prior art toilet bowl.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Electrical opening and closing type toilet bowls according to preferred embodiments of the present invention are described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings below.

As shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, an electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl 100 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a main toilet bowl body 110, a toilet bowl cover 120, a toilet seat 130, a motor assembly 140, a friction hinge 150, a detection means 160, and a switch 170.

The main toilet bowl body 110 is used for a user to sit thereon and relieve him/herself, and a discharge aperture 111 for allowing the user to relieve him/herself is formed in the central portion thereof. Although the discharge aperture 111 is not shown, an excrement discharging pipe for discharging excrement is connected to a water purification tank. Furthermore, the main toilet bowl body 110 is formed integrally with a water tank 112 at the rear end thereof The water tank 112 is used to provide a predetermined amount of washing water, which is discharged along with excrement, and a drainpipe (not shown) connected to the main toilet bowl body 310 is formed inside the water tank 312. The water tank 112 is closed by a user who has finished relieving him/herself, and thus the excrement along with the washing water is discharged to the water purification tank.

Furthermore, the main toilet bowl body 111 is formed such that an accommodation part 113, a section of which is approximately triangular, protrudes from the portion at which the toilet bowl cover 120 and the toilet seat 130 are coupled to each other in a hinged manner. A motor assembly 140 is fixedly mounted in the accommodation part 113.

The toilet bowl cover 120 is an opening and closing means that is coupled to the main toilet bowl body 110 in a hinged manner so as to be able to rotate, and is used to open and close the main toilet bowl body 110. One end of the toilet bowl cover 120 is coupled to the main toilet bowl body 110 so that the toilet bowl cover 120 can be rotated around the friction hinge 150 by the motor assembly 140. Furthermore, the toilet bowl cover is automatically opened and closed by the motor assembly 140, which operates in response to an external input signal received by the operation of the switch 170, or the motion of the toilet bowl cover 120.

Furthermore, the toilet bowl cover 120 can easily be manually opened and closed around the friction hinge 150 even when external power necessary to operate the motor assembly 140 is completely interrupted, for example, when a power failure occurs.

Furthermore, two cylindrical connection parts 121 are formed on respective sides of the one end of the toilet bowl cover 120. The friction hinge 150 of the motor assembly 140 is fixedly mounted to the cylindrical connection part 121. A magnet 161 is mounted in the cylindrical connection part 121 so as to be opposite a first or second hall sensor 162 or 163.

The toilet seat 130 is coupled to the main toilet bowl body 110 in a hinged manner so as to be able to rotate, and is used to eliminate discomfort attributable to the direct contact of the buttocks of a user with the main toilet bowl body 110 when the user relieves him/herself. In the present embodiment, the toilet seat may be opened and closed, or may be automatically opened and closed by the motor assembly 140 of the present embodiment.

The motor assembly 140 is an electrical means that is mounted on the main toilet bowl body 110 and electrically operates the toilet bowl cover 120, and includes a casing 141, a motor 143 and a reducer 146.

The casing 141 is formed to have a cylindrical shape overall, accommodates the motor 143 and the reducer 146 therein, and is fixedly mounted in the accommodation part 113 of the main toilet bowl body 110.

Furthermore, the casing 141 has sawteeth 142, which are formed along the inner circumference of a portion in which the reducer 146 is mounted, and which are engaged with a plurality of planetary gears 147b, 148b and 149b.

The motor 143 receives external power and generates a driving force. An armature (not shown), which receives external power and forms an electric field, and a stator (not shown), which forms a magnetic field corresponding to the armature, are mounted in the motor 143, and a motor shaft 144 is rotated by the force formed between the armature and the stator.

The motor shaft 144 protrudes from one end of the motor 143, and a motor gear 145 is fixedly coupled to the motor shaft 144. Here, the rotational speed of the motor shaft 144 is reduced by the reducer 146, but the rotational force thereof is increased.

The motor 143 used in the present invention is implemented using a coreless Direct Current (DC) motor in order to reduce the load of the reducer 146. Although not shown in detail, the coreless DC motor is advantageous in that no core is provided therein, so that magnetic saturation, which occurs in the core of a typical DC motor, does not occur, and thus no caulking occurs, therefore a great rotational force can be generated considering the size thereof.

The reducer 146 is used to attain a desired rotational force by reducing the rotational speed of the motor 143, and includes a plurality of carriers 147, 148 and 149 and a plurality of planetary gears 147b, 148b and 149b.

The first carrier 147 has a circular plate shape. A first shaft gear 147a is mounted on one side of the first carrier 147 so as to be able to rotate, and a plurality of three first planetary gears 147b, in particular, three first planetary gears 147b in the present embodiment, is mounted on the other side of the first carrier 147 so as to be able to rotate. Here, the first planetary gears 147b are engaged with the motor gear 145 and the sawteeth 142 formed along the inner circumference of the casing 141.

The first carrier 148 has a circular plate shape. A first shaft gear 148a is mounted on one side of the first carrier 148 so as to be able to rotate, and a plurality of three first planetary gears 148b, for example, three first planetary gears 148b in the present embodiment, is mounted on the other side of the first carrier 148 so as to be able to rotate. Here, the first planetary gears 148b are engaged with the first shaft gear 147a and the sawteeth 142 formed along the inner circumference of the casing 141.

The third carrier 149 has a circular plate shape. A rotational shaft 149c is formed on one side of the third carrier, and a plurality of third planetary gears 149b, for example, three third planetary gears 149b in the present invention, is formed on the other side of the third carrier so as to be able to rotate. Here, the third planetary gears 149b are engaged with the second shaft gear 148a and the sawteeth 142 formed along the inner circumference of the casing 141, and the rotational shaft 149c protrudes outside the reducer 146.

The friction hinge 150 is used to help the manual opening and closing of the toilet bowl cover 120 in the state in which external power, which is necessary to operate the motor assembly 140 and detection means 160, is completely interrupted, and includes a connection bracket 151 and a pair of friction rings 152.

The connection bracket 151 has the overall shape of the letter ‘L’. A first arm of the connection bracket 151 is coupled with the rotational shaft 149c of the motor assembly 140 so as to be able to rotate, and a second arm thereof is fixedly mounted in the connection part 121.

The pair of friction rings 152 is inserted into the rotational shaft 149c so as to apply a predetermined frictional force to the connection bracket 151. Here, the torque caused by the frictional force of the pair of friction rings 152 is greater than the torque caused by the driving force of the motor assembly 140, but is less than the torque caused by the external force that is applied to the toilet bowl cover 120 by the user at the time of manual opening and closing. Accordingly, it is preferred that the toilet bowl cover 120 be automatically opened and closed when the motor assembly 140 operates, and that the toilet bowl cover 120 be easily movable when the toilet bowl cover 120 is manually opened and closed in the state in which external power is completely interrupted, in greater detail, in the state in which a power failure occurs.

The detection means 160 is used to detect the opening and closing and motion of the toilet bowl cover 120, and includes one magnet 161 and two first and second hall sensors 162 and 163, which operate in response to the magnetic force of the magnet 161.

The magnet 161, which is a magnetic body that provides magnetic force to the first and second hall sensors 162 and 163 so that the opening and closing of the toilet bowl cover 120 and motion of the toilet bowl cover 120 can be detected, is fixedly mounted in the accommodation part 113 of the toilet bowl cover 120 and moves together with the toilet bowl cover 120.

The first hall sensor 162 is fixedly mounted on one side of the motor assembly 140 to operate in response to the magnetic force of the magnet 161 when the toilet bowl cover 120 is closed, and the second hall sensor 163 is fixedly mounted on one end of the motor assembly 140 to operate in response to the magnetic force of the magnet 161 when the toilet bowl cover 120 is opened.

Furthermore, when the first and second hall sensors 162 and 163 opposite the magnet 161 detect magnetic force, they stop the operation of the motor assembly 140 and thus complete the opening and closing operation of the toilet bowl cover 120. In this case, the next rotational direction is determined to be the direction in which the toilet bowl cover 120 is opened, or the direction in which the toilet bowl cover 120 is closed, by the first and second hall sensors 162, which have detected the magnetic force.

Furthermore, the first and second hall sensors 162 may detect variation in the intensity of the magnetic force of the opposite magnet 161. When the first and second hall sensors 162 and 163 detect a decrease in the magnetic force of the magnet 161 while the toilet bowl cover 120 is moved by external force applied by the user, they can cause the motor assembly 140 to operate.

The switch 170 is used to transmit an external input signal to the motor assembly 140, is electrically connected to the motor assembly 140, and is mounted on one side of the main toilet bowl body 110, in grater detail, the water tank 112, to be exposed to the outside.

In contrast, in an electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl 100 according to another embodiment of the present invention, the toilet seat 130 may also be automatically opened and closed by the motor assembly 140.

As shown in FIG. 4, in the electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl 200, a first motor assembly 140, a first friction hinge 150, and a detection means 160, which are used to automatically open and close a toilet bowl cover 120, are used as a single module, and a second motor assembly 240, a second friction hinge 250 and a second detection means 260, which are used to automatically open and close a toilet seat 130, are used as a single module. Accordingly, in order to open and close the toilet bowl cover 120 and the toilet seat 130, two motor assemblies 140 and 240, two friction hinges 150 and 250, two magnets 161 and 261, and four hall sensors 162, 163, 262 and 263 may be used. Here, the construction and method for automatically opening and closing the toilet seat 130 is the same as the construction and method for automatically opening and closing the toilet bowl cover 120, and thus detailed descriptions of the construction and the method are omitted.

The operation of the electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl 100 is described with reference to FIGS. 5A, 5B, 6A and 6B. FIG. 6A is a flowchart illustrating a method of automatically opening and closing the toilet bowl cover 120 of the toilet bowl 100 of the first embodiment of the present invention by operating the switch 170, and FIG. 6B is a flowchart illustrating a method of automatically opening and closing the toilet bowl cover 120 by detecting the motion of the toilet bowl cover 120 and operating the motor assembly 140 when the toilet bowl cover 120 is moved by the user.

As shown in FIG. 5A, when the toilet bowl cover 120 is closed, the first hall sensor 162 opposite the magnet 161 detects magnetic force. In this case, the next rotational direction of the rotational shaft 149c of the motor assembly 140 is determined to be the direction in which the toilet bowl cover 120 is opened, that is, the direction of the arrow A, by the first hall sensor 162.

As shown in FIG. 5B, when the toilet bowl cover 120 is opened, the second hall sensor 163 opposite the magnet 161 detects magnetic force. In this case, the next rotational direction of the rotational shaft 149c of the motor assembly 140 is determined to be the direction in which the toilet bowl cover 120 is closed, that is, the direction of the arrow B, by the second hall sensor 163.

As shown in FIG. 6A, the toilet bowl cover 120 is automatically opened and closed in response to an external input signal. When the external input signal is received in the state in which the toilet bowl cover 120 is closed, the motor assembly 140 causes the toilet bowl cover 120 to be automatically opened by moving in the direction A, in which the toilet bowl cover 120 is opened, in the case where magnetic force is detected by the first hall sensor 162. Subsequently, the magnet 161 moves in the direction opposite the arrow direction A while the toilet bowl cover 120 is opened, and becomes opposite to the second hall sensor 163. In this case, when the second hall sensor 163 detects magnetic force, the operation of the motor assembly 140 is stopped, and thus the opening of the toilet bowl cover 120 is completed. In contrast, when the toilet bowl cover 120 is opened, magnetic force is detected by the second hall sensor 163 without being detected by the first hall sensor 162, so that the motor assembly 140 moves in the direction B, in which the toilet bowl cover 120 is closed, and thus causes the toilet bowl cover 120 to be closed.

As shown in FIG. 6B, the toilet bowl cover 120 is automatically opened and closed in response to the motion of the toilet bowl cover 120. When the toilet bowl cover 120 is moved slightly by the user in the state in which the toilet bowl cover 120 is closed, the first hall sensor 162 detects variation in the intensity of magnetic force and causes the motor assembly 140 to operate, so that the motor assembly 140 moves in the direction A, in which the toilet bowl cover 120 is opened, and thus causes the toilet bowl cover 120 to be automatically opened. In contrast, when the toilet bowl cover 120 is opened, the second hall sensor 163 detects variation in the intensity of magnetic force and causes the motor assembly 140 to operate, so that the motor assembly 140 moves in the direction B, in which the toilet bowl cover 120 is closed, and thus causes the toilet bowl cover 120 to be automatically closed.

According to the electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl of the present invention, the toilet bowl cover and the toilet seat are automatically opened and closed using the motor assembly, which operates in response to an external input signal or the motion of the toilet bowl cover, and thus an electrical opening and closing type toilet bowl and an opening and closing method for the same, which can be more conveniently used by users, can be provided.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.