D1.1 Smart Bathroom

Principal Investigator

Brian Jones, MSEE, & Jon Sanford, M.Arch.


Avi Bosu, Su Jin (Susan) Lee, MSOT, Harshal Mahajan, Ph.D., Victor Perez, Peter Presti, MSCS, Russell (Rusty) Taylor


Bathroom assistive technologies, such as toilet safety frames and grab bars, can help people with long-term mobility disabilities safely accomplish tasks like toileting and bathing. However, these features are often fixed environmental supports that can’t be adjusted to accommodate individuals whose support needs vary over time or even fluctuate day-to-day. SmartBathroom is a state-of-the-art bathroom laboratory with mechanically adjustable grab bars and a toilet. It features an array of sensors that can measure walking performance (speed, balance, stability), location of feet and hands, and forces applied to the bathroom surfaces. Building upon earlier TechSAge work, we continue to refine and test the SmartToilet, SmartFloor, and SmartGrabbar systems. We are also developing a prototype for a SmartBathing Transfer System to measure an individual’s ability to get in and out of the shower or bathtub. Ultimately, we hope to develop predictive algorithms that can be used to automatically adjust SmartBathroom features to meet the transfer support needs of individuals at any point in time.

man instructs in front of a slide show screen


    Researcher talks to man in simulation smart bathroom laboratory  Man with cane walks into simulation smart bathroom laboratory

Project Status

The team is currently analyzing data from 15 initial participants and over 570 toilet transfer trials using the first generation of the Smart Toilet Transfer system. During this phase, the team has developed tools to streamline future data processing and algorithms to analyze the data across participants. The team is simultaneously developing components for a SmartBathing Transfer System, in order to test showers and bathtub transfers. Active recruitment for research participants is underway to test the functionality of the current Smart Bathroom.

Select Publications

Sanford, J. A. The SmartBathroom: UD through integrating physical and digital worlds; in Caltenco, H., Hedvall, P.O., Larsson, A., Rassmus-Grohn, K. & Rydeman, B. (eds.). Universal Design 2014: Three Days of Creativity and Diversity. Assistive Technology Research Series, Amsterdam, NL: IOS Press (2014). 978-1-61499-403-9

Jones, B. D., Pandey, S., Presti, P., Taylor, R., Natarajan, P., Mahajan, S., Mahajan, H., & Sanford, J. A. (2017). SmartBathroom: Developing a smart environment to study bathroom transfers. In Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (RESNA) Annual Conference 2017. Available on RESNA.org

Project Alumni

Sharon Ang, MSHCI, Jenny Cheuk, M.ID., Tyler LaBean BSCS, Shambhavi Mahajan, MSHCI, Prasanna Natarajan, Shivakant (Shiva) Pandey, M.ID.,  Priyanka Sadananda, MSEE

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