Henk Hanskamp is a Dutch inventor and businessman and has created a smart toilet. The smart toilet, known as Cow Toilet, can collect about fifteen to twenty liters of urine that an average cow produces in a day.
Although not many consider cows to be among the smartest creatures, Hanskamp claims that they can be taught to use the Cow Toilet. The Dutch agricultural machinery manufacturer Hanskamp has been developing ‘Cow Toilet’ for several years now. As per the early tests, it might be able to offer a feasible solution to the problem of ammonia pollution that the world faces. Most of the cows require stimulation for using the Cow Toilet; however, some have become so used to it that they urinate into it without any external factor.
Once the cow enters the gated feeding area, a metallic arm that features a bucket-like receptacle at its end drops down behind the cow and gently stimulates the animal’s escutcheon. The escutcheon is a nerve that runs between the cow’s vulva and udder and rubbing it stimulates urination. The urine is collected into the mobile receptacle and stowed away separately.
Cow Toilet is being tested at a farm near the eastern Dutch town of Doetinchem. Seven out of a total of fifty-eight cows that are on the farm have already become accustomed to using the Cow Toilet without any sort of stimulation. Henk Hanskamp said, ‘The cows have got used to it, they recognise the box, lift their tail, and pee. A cow is never going to be completely clean, but you can teach them to go to the toilet.’
Cow Toilet makes sure that the urine doesn’t get mixed with the solid manure and by doing so helps with the lowering of ammonia emissions from the source. This also helps in keeping the cows cleaner and healthier. Jan Velema, a vet who part of the tests, said that ever since the Cow Toilet was introduced at the farm, it had become drier and cleaner, which is amazing for the hooves and legs of the animals.
Hanskamp website says, ‘This system also offers great opportunities for new revenues. Pure urine can be used as a high-quality raw material in, for example, precision fertilisation. There are also ongoing developments in which urine is used to generate ‘yellow’ power or as a source of hydrogen. The Cow Toilet by Hanskamp contributes to a sustainable and profitable future in dairy farming.’