Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Saturday, November 29, 1997 Published at 10:07 GMT


Tuneful twist to toilet training

Inventor Iris Whyte with the potty that praises the botty

Britain has a fine tradition of pushing back the boundaries of invention.

The Liquid Crystal Display was first developed in Britain as was the hovercraft.

But what are Britons developing to change our lives in the 21st century?

How about the singing potty, the foldaway scooter or the stand-alone hair dryer?

At the Great British Innovations Fair, 250 inventors are showing off the result of their endeavours - most famously described as "99 per cent perspiration and one per cent inspiration".

Grandmother Iris Whyte, 61, developed the singing potty as a toilet training aid after her grandson only started using his correctly when everyone in the family applauded.

It can be programmed to merely say "Well done you are a good girl" or, if you fancy something a little more adventurous it can be made to chant "Goal, Brilliant. Fantastic" accompanied by wild cheering.

Inventor Chris Fields has designed The Mogo, a foldaway scooter for people who have difficulty walking.

[ image: Chris Fields folds away The Mogo]
Chris Fields folds away The Mogo
He said: "It's not for the disabled but for the millions of people who can't walk long distances.

"It will enable them to get out. They can take it on a bus and even pick it up in one hand."

Inventor Malcolm Baxter claims his floating doorstep could prevent millions of pounds of flood damage around the world. He has invited East European embassies to look at the design after the recent spate of floods in the region.

On a lighter note Harish Patel has spent four years developing the hollipop - a lollipop with an edible hologram on it.

Other inventions on show in the Barbican Exhibition Centre, London, include the free-standing hair dryer so you have both hands free to style your locks, and the portable hammock.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

Sci/Tech Contents

Internet Links

The International Inventions Fair

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

World's smallest transistor

Scientists join forces to study Arctic ozone

Mathematicians crack big puzzle

From Business
The growing threat of internet fraud

Who watches the pilots?

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer