UK Students Invent a Foldable Toilet

April 13, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. the brains behind /ðə breɪns bɪˈhaɪnd/ (idiom) – the person/s who made or thought of something
ExampleThe brains behind the telephone must really like to talk.

2. consequently /ˈkɒnɪˌkwɛnt (adv.) – as a result of something stated before
Example: She worked hard on her project and consequently got a good grade.

3. mechanism /ˈmɛkəˌnɪzəm/ (n.) – a particular way a machine or a system operates
Example: She worked hard on the flying mechanism of her toy airplane. 

4. automatically /ˌɔəˈmætɪkli/ (adv.) – operating on its own
Example: When not being used, the computer automatically turns off.

5. in progress /ɪn ˈprɒgɛs/ (idiom) – refers to something that is still being worked on
Example: He keeps his project a secret because it is still in progress.


Read the text below.
A remodeling of the toilet is currently being introduced in the United Kingdom. The design, called ‘Iota’ [ahy-OH-tuh], presents a toilet with a foldable structure and a more effective flushing system.

The brains behind the invention are students Gareth Humphreys [GAR-ith HUHM-frees] and Elliott Whiteley [EL-ee-uht, EL-yuht wayt-lee] of the University of Huddersfield [HUHD-erz-feeld]. They recently submitted their Iota toilet to the RSA Student Design Awards’ ‘Re-Invent the Toilet’ competition to promote the eco-friendly quality of their design.

The Iota toilet has two remarkable features—it saves water and it saves space. Because of its advanced flushing system, the Iota toilet needs only half of the six liters of water that common toilets usually use up. This will reduce water consumption and consequently, save as much as 10,000 liters of water for every person in a span of a year.

This unique toilet also has a smaller structure compared to standard toilets. Built with a folding mechanism, the Iota toilet automatically folds up into an upright position against the wall after use, which gives more free space. Because of this, the Iota toilet is considered a more convenient option for private use, especially nowadays when houses are often made smaller.

There is no doubt that the Iota toilet can contribute in sustaining the environment not only within but also outside the bathroom. Though the Iota toilet is still in progress, the inventors have already expressed plans to make their version of the toilet available in the worldwide market.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think are the good points of this invention? Kindly explain your answer.
·         If this was made available in the market, would you consider buying it? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         If you were to choose a household item or furniture to be reinvented, what would that be? Please explain your answer.
·         In your country, what inventions/products are available to help protect the environment?


April 13, 2014