Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
TOILET SEAT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1996/012433
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to adjustable seat means (10) for a toilet seat and to a method for adjusting a toilet seat. The seat means of the toilet seat comprises seat ring means (14) and with them combined means (16) for altering the form, such as the height and/or shape and/or angle of inclination and/or size of the aperture, of the seat means of the toilet seat. An ordinary seat ring means can easily be replaced by the seat means according to the present invention.

Inventors:
Kivel�
Antti
Juhani
Application Number:
PCT/FI1995/000586
Publication Date:
May 02, 1996
Filing Date:
October 24, 1995
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
NOBI OY KIVEL�
Antti
Juhani
International Classes:
A47K13/10; A47K13/28; A61G7/10; (IPC1-7): A47K13/10
Domestic Patent References:
WO1989008437A1
WO1991006239A1
Foreign References:
US4777671A
US3479087A
US3808612A
US4213213A
US5079786A
FR1165405A
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims
1. Seat means for a toilet seat, c h a r a c t e r i z e d by comprising at least one elastic or collapsible means (16; 46; 71 ,72; 56; 62,63) combined with seat ring means (14; 24; 34; 44; 54; 64; 74), said elastic or collapsible means being arranged to settle in at least two different positions for altering the form of said seat means.
2. Seat means for a toilet seat according to claim 1 , wherein the shape and/or height and/or the size of the aperture (75) and/or inclination of said seat means can be adjusted.
3. Seat means for a toilet seat according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said elastic or collapsible means (16; 46; 71 ,72; 56; 62,63) define an inner space (20; 40; 70) adapted to being filled with a medium such that said settling in at least two different positions is provided by altering the volume and/or pressure of said medium filled in said inner space (20; 40; 70).
4. Seat means for a toilet seat according to claim 3, wherein said space (20; 40; 70) is a tight space which is impermeable to said medium.
5. Seat means for a toilet seat according to claim 3 or 4, wherein said elastic means (16; 46; 71 ,72) is an integral part of said seat ring means (14; 24; 44; 74) .
6. Seat means for a toilet seat according to any of claims 3 to 5, wherein said space (20) is divided into at least two sections (27;37) .
7. Seat means for a toilet seat according to claim 6, wherein the pressure and/or volume and/or type of the medium in said at least two sections (37) can be altered independently such that the pressure and/or volume and/or type of the medium will be different in various sections.
8. Seat means for a toilet seat according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said seat means further comprise channel means (26; 31 ; 78) , said channel means being preferably provided integrally with said seat means (24; 34; 74), said channel means being opera¬ tionally connected to said space (20; 40; 70) defined by said elastic or collap¬ sible means (1 6; 46; 71 ,72; 56; 62,63) , and means (21 ; 41 ) for altering the pressure and/or volume of said medium in said space.
9. Seat means for a toilet seat according to claim 8, wherein said means for altering the pressure and/or volume of said medium comprise an electrically driven pump means.
10. 1 0. Seat means for a toilet seat according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said seat means further comprise a rigidly structured portion (56; 66) disposed on top of said elastic or collapsible means.
11. 1 1 . Seat means for a toilet seat according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said seat means (60) are arranged such that one portion of said seat means, preferably the rear portion (61 ) , can be raised to a higher level than the other portions, preferably the front portion (67) , of said seat means (60) .
12. 1 2. Seat means for a toilet seat according to any of claims 1 to 9 or 1 1 , wherein said elastic means (76) are formed such that the top surface portion (72) thereof is arranged to stretch less than the side wall portions (71 ) thereof.
13. 1 3. Seat means for a toilet seat according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the aperture (75) of said seat means can be altered, preferably reduced, by means of said elastic means (71 ) .
14. 14 Seat means for a toilet seat according to any of claims 1 to 7, wherein said medium comprises granules or spheres, said granules or spheres prefe¬ rably having a diameter in a range of about 2 to 10 millimeters.
15. 1 5. Seat means for a toilet seat according to claim 14, wherein said granules or spheres are of metallic material and said toilet seat further comprises means for providing an electric field into said space (20; 40; 70) defined by said elastic means (1 6; 46; 71 ,72) such that the position of said metallic granules or spheres can be altered by means of an electric field.
16. 1 6. A method for adjusting a toilet seat, c h a r a c t e r i z e d by comprising the step of altering the form of seat means of said toilet seat by inducing said seat means formed by elastic or collapsible means combined with seat ring means to settle into a position different from the initial position thereof.
17. 1 7. A method according to claim 1 6, comprising the step of conducting a medium within a space defined between the seat ring means and therein combined elastic means or within a space defined by collapsible means combined with the seat ring means.
18. 1 8. A method according to claim 1 7, whereby a change in the volume and/or pressure of said medium within said space provides a change in the height and/or shape and/or angle of inclination and/or size of the aperture of the toilet seat.
19. 1 9. A method according to claim 1 7 or 1 8, wherein said space is divided into a plurality of sections and wherein different amounts of medium and/or diffe¬ rently pressurized mediums and/or different types of medium are provided into various sections.
20. 20 A method according to any of claims 1 7 to 1 9, wherein a hardening substance in a fluid state is provided into said space, said hardening substance is adapted to the shape of a user, and said hardening substance is allowed to harden inside said space after said adapting.
21. 21A method according to any of claims 1 7 to 1 9, comprising the step of restraining the movement of granules or spheres used as said medium, prefe¬ rably by an underpressure provided within said space defined by said elastic means or by means of an electric field, whereby a desired shape of the seat portion is provided and maintained.
22. 22 A method according to any of claims 1 7 to 21 , wherein said medium is heated to provide a heating of the toilet seat.
Description:
Toilet seat

The present invention relates to seat means for a toilet seat according to the preamble of claim 1 and especially to a seat means of a toilet seat, the form of which can be adjusted thus enabling adjustment of the sitting position of the user. The invention relates also to a method according to the preamble of claim 16 for adjusting the form of a toilet seat.

Various prior known solutions for improving the comfort of a toilet seat include toilet seats provided with mechanical, stepwise operated height controls for the seat as well as increasing the softness of the seat, for instance by padding made of cellular or foamed plastic or of terry cloth. Various solutions for heating the seat have also been proposed.

The solutions presented, however, do have a disadvantage in that they have not provided any particular possibilities to adjust the sitting position and/or the height and/or the shape of the seat portion. Solutions facilitating a mechani¬ cally arranged height control have proven too complicated and difficult to use, especially when bearing in mind that various special groups of persons, such as aged or disabled persons, children and similar users are the ones who do have difficulties in using an ordinary toilet seat, and who thus especially have a need to use such adjustable arrangements.

US patent 3,808,612 discloses a separate inflatable toilet seat ring to be placed upon a conventional seat, said seat ring being foldable into a small volume after use and thus enabling the user to carry the ring with him. It is also disclosed in said citation that the "air pillow" according to the citation can be used as a disposable seat, by which means the level of hygiene of the seat is improved.

However, the disclosed arrangement presents a disadvantage in that it does not provide a possibility of adjusting the height and/or shape of the seat, but provides only a soft and clean seat for sitting when placed on top of or repla ¬ cing a normal fixedly assembled seat portion. Furthermore, increased concern of environmental questions has decreased the attractiveness of using the seat

ring according to US 3,808,612, due to the disposable nature thereof. In addition, users have found the loose seat portion unstable to sit and the proper placing of the ring too difficult.

The object of the present invention is to overcome the disadvantages of the prior art and to provide a totally new solution for a toilet seat. By means of the solution according to the invention means for a toilet seat are provided, by which the form, such as height and/or shape and/or angle of inclination and/or size of the aperture thereof, and thus the sitting position of the user, can be easily and quickly adjusted according to the personal requirements of every single user, either before sitting down on the seat or while sitting.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a toilet seat, on which the user feels comfortable, which decreases the numbness of feet and other parts of the body and on which it is easy to sit down and from which it is easy to rise.

An additional object of the present invention is to provide a toilet seat arrange¬ ment, in which the seat conforms to special requirements of the user, and a method for providing such conformation.

An additional object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus, by which the seat means are arranged to store the special features of each single user and the seat means are capable of setting according to the personal features of said user.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a toilet seat means which can be assembled in connection with already existing toilet seats or bowls.

A still additional object of the present invention is to provide a toilet seat arrangement which provides a possibility of heating the toilet seat.

A still further object is an adjustable toilet seat which is simple as to its construction, easy to manufacture and to assemble to the seat, light and easy to use and economical to manufacture.

A still further object is an adjustable toilet seat which is easy to clean and which does not hinder the cleaning of the surroundings of the seat.

The present invention is based on the idea that by providing a ring like means of a toilet seat, i.e. the portion supporting the user, with elastic means or surface, preferably with an elastic means intented to contact a user, or with collapsible means, the form, e.g. the height and/or shape of said elastic or collapsible means being arranged to settle in at least two different positions. This can be preferably provided by means of a suitable medium filled in a space defined by said elastic or collapsible means and by suitable adjusting means, which are preferably arranged to alter the pressure and/or volume of said medium, whereby means for a toilet seat are provided which provide the user thereof with a possibility to adjust the seat, e.g. the height and/or shape thereof.

More precisely, the apparatus according to the present invention is mainly characterized by what is disclosed in appended claims 1 ...15 and especially by the characterizing portion of claim 1 . The method according to the present invention is mainly characterized by what is disclosed in appended claims 16...22 and especially by the characterizing portion of claim 16.

According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention a toilet seat comprises a ring-like seat means manufactured from a material known per se, such as from suitable plastics, wood, metal or similar materials. A seat surface portion or an elastic portion of suitable elastic material, such as a suitable rubber or plastic capable of being to be filled with a medium and thereby of being adjusted as to its shape and/or size and/or height, is installed on the top surface of the seat means. Channel means extend in connection with and preferably inside the seat means, said channel means being suitably connected at one end to a space defined between the elastic surface portion and the seat means, and at the other end to a suitable pressure source or pump means for altering the pressure and/or volume of the medium.

According to a further preferred embodiment said space for receiving the medium between the elastic surface and the seat ring means is further divided into several sections, by means of which the change in shape / height can be adjusted differently in different parts of the seat ring means. The underpres-

sure or overpressure of each section can be controlled in a predefined manner independently from the other sections. Furthermore, the pressure inside the sections can be controlled according to preset individual basic data by informa¬ tion stored in a suitable memory means.

According to an another preferred embodiment seat means are formed by two essentially rigid surfaces and an elastic flexible means or collapsible means provided therebetween. Thus the rigid surfaces can be moved relative to each other. The seat means may also form a bellows-type part, by which the height can be adjusted.

According to an another solution according to the invention the seat means can be tilted suitably to facilitate the sitting down and rising therefrom.

According to one preferred embodiment it is possible to set the seat ring means in accordance to a shape desired by the user and the personal require¬ ments of the user, for example by filling the elastic portion with suitable hardening mediums. In some cases, it can be advantageous to reshape or form the seating portion in a desired manner after sitting down or test sitting.

According to another preferred embodiment suitable granules or spheres or similar means are used as a medium according to the present invention. The position of the granules or spheres and thus the form of the seat means can be easily altered, and their position can also be hold e.g. by an underpressure or a partial vacuum generated inside the means covering the granules or spheres. Thus each user may initially adjust the seat so that it will feel comfortable. The user has also the possibility to alter the shape simply by removing the under¬ pressure and by slightly moving himself or herself and thus altering the relative positioning of the granular material or spheres.

According to a still further embodiment said granules or spheres can be of a suitable metallic material, whereby a possibility of controlling the relative positioning thereof can be provided by a suitable electric field provided adja¬ cent to them. The system may comprise suitable memory means, whereby the seat portion operationally connected thereto "remembers" the special features of each user and is capable of automatically setting into a desired position before the user sits down.

Providing said hardened shape is, of course, not a necessary operation or it can be performed only partially. In such a case the seat means portion may feel soft, even loose, but on the other hand, even a small altering of the sitting position provides new kinds of stresses and supports to the buttocks, which assists in avoiding numbness of the muscles.

In some cases it can be advantageous to provide the seat means with heating means. This may be provided by heating the medium prior it is applied inside the seat means or by means arranged to heat the medium inside the seat means.

According a still further embodiment, the size of the aperture of the seat ring means can be adjusted e.g. by means of the elastic surface such that said elastic surface is allowed to expand towards the center of the seat ring. This feature is especially useful when some of the users, but not all, are small children or disabled persons.

Significant advantages are obtained by the present invention. For example, by providing an ordinary toilet seat with a seat means according to the present invention the comfort of the user is significantly increased, since the user can, for instance, adjust a shape and/or height position most suitable to him or her. According to one embodiment of the invention the adjustment can also be altered during use, which helps, among other things, against numbness. The seat means also feel softer and more comfortable than a conventional plastic, wooden or similar solutions. Furthermore, the rising up and sitting down are facilitated, since each user can adjust the height, and in some cases also the inclination of the seat means, to be suitable for this purpose.

In the following the present invention and the other objects and advantages thereof will be described by way of an example with reference to the annexed drawings, in which similar reference characters throughout the various figures refer to similar features. It should be understood that the following description of an example of the invention is not meant to restrict the invention to the specific forms presented in this connection but rather the present invention is meant to cover all modifications, similarities and alternatives which are inclu ¬ ded in the spirit and scope of the present invention, as defined by the appen¬ ded claims. It is further noted that by the expression ring like seat portion and

the synonyms thereof all such means are referred to, which are intented to be used to support a person sitting in various kinds of toilet seats, and thus also means shaped differently from the essentially continuous ring like means are included into the scope and spirit of the invention. Furthermore, expression the elastic means refers to all such parts in connection with the seat which can be arranged to alter the form, e.g. the shape, size, angle of inclination and/or height thereof.

Figures 1 a and 1 b are simplified schematic side views of an embodiment according to the present invention in two operational positions thereof;

Figure 2 is a sectional side view of one possible structure of seat means according to the present invention;

Figure 3 is a schematic top view of a further preferred embodiment according to the present invention;

Figure 4 is a schematic view of a further preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 5 corresponds to Fig 2, but shows another possible structure;

Figure 6 shows a still further embodiment; and

Figure 7 is a schematic sectional view of one structure according to the present invention.

Figure 1 a discloses toilet seat means 10 according to the present invention. A toilet seat comprises a flush water container portion 1 1 , a bowl portion 12 and a pivotable lid 13. Furthermore, ring like seat means 14 provided with an aperture are disclosed, said seat ring means being assembled, preferably pivotally, by fastening means 18 on top of the bowl portion 12. An elastic surface portion 16 is fixedly combined with the top of the seat ring means. The seat ring means 14 and therein integrated surface portion 16 define between themselves an impermeable or air tight space 20 which is adapted to be filled with a suitable medium such as air, gas or a suitable fluid.

The medium connection to the inside of the inner space 20 is preferably arranged such that suitable channel means connected to said space 20 are provided inside the seat ring means 14 or closely adjacent thereto (see Fig. 2). The channel means are also connected by a hose means 19 or similar means to suitably means 21 for pumping the medium or otherwise providing a change in the volume and/or pressure of the medium, by which means the adjustment of the seat is arranged to be accomplished. Even though a simple hand pump 21 is shown as such means in Figs. 1 a and 1 b, the space 21 may naturally be arranged to be filled with various other ways, such as by a foot pump, an electrically driven pump or suitable gas charges, such as gas springs or gas bottles and similar means. In some cases the medium may be blown by the user into the space 20.

The control of such means whose driving power is not dependent on the user, such as electrically driven pumps means or gas charge means, can be arranged so as to be as simple as possible, which is an advantage for instance to aged and disabled users. In some cases the seat means can be filled, for instance by electrically driven pump means at the beginning and at the end of the use, respectively, such that the user practically needs not to sit down and practi¬ cally needs not to rise up, since the top level of the seat means will be at such a height and preferably also suitably inclined that these actions can be very easily performed. The electrically driven pump means can also be arranged to function automatically, i.e. for instance such that they, at certain intervals, automatically alter the volume of the medium or are connected to memory means, which are adapted to settle the seat portion to a predetermined shape and/or height subsequent to an input of the identifying information of the user.

Fig. 1 b corresponds to the above, but now the space 20 is filled and thus the surface of the surface portion 16 has settled at a higher level than in Fig. 1 a. It is preferred to arrange the structure of the elastic surface portion means such that the aperture defined by it will not essentially reduce in size during the filling with the medium. This is achieved for instance such that the top surface of the surface means 16, i.e. the horizontally extending surface, is of an essentially less elastic structure than the wall portions, whereby the walls stretch and the top surface settles at a higher level, but the aperture is not reduced substantially during the increase of the volume of the medium inside the space 20. The top surface can also be of a completely non-stretchable

design. One solution for the design of the surface portion is disclosed more precisely in Fig. 7.

Fig. 2 discloses, as a sectional view seen from the side of the seat means, one embodiment according to the invention. The figure discloses a seat ring means 24, preferably made of rigid plastic material or the like, on top of which a space 20 for the medium is integrally arranged, said space being defined by an elastic material 16. A medium channel 26 extends between the upper and lower walls 23 and 25 of the ring means 24. The seat ring means can be made of suitable plastic, for instance by so called blow moulding, gas-assisted injec¬ tion or moulding, like nitrogen assisted moulding, or any other suitable tech¬ niques. A hollow space is always left inside seat ring means made by said techniques, which hollow space can easily be used as channels 26 connecting the space 20 and the source of medium. Suitably sized openings 22 may be drilled or otherwise suitably provided in the upper surface of the ring means and the space may be connected to a suitable medium source, such as to suitable pump means and/or medium container (not shown) . Among the advantages obtained by a design which has no additional external hoses or pipes are easy sanitation and simple construction.

Barriers 28, which are preferred in some cases, are also disclosed in Fig. 2. By said barriers the space 20 has been divided into several sections 27. The pressure and/or volume of the medium in the sections can be controlled in various different manners, for instance by valves (not shown) disposed in the openings 22 or by an arrangement shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3 discloses as a schematic top view a solution, according to which the sections 27 each can be connected by a separate channel to a suitable medium source. In the disclosed solution a plurality of channels 31 are ground into the rigid ring means 34 of the seat such that one end 32 of the channels is connected to at least one of the sections 27 and the other end 33 is adjus ¬ tably connected to the medium source by a connecting member 35. A suitable plate covering the grooves is disposed on top of the ground grooves, said plate having an opening at the end 32 of the groove in question. One groove may, naturally, be connected to several sections 37. By this means an arrangement is provided, in which the pressure and/or volume can be adjusted separately in each section 37 by means external to the seat means.

In the embodiment of Fig. 3 the space defined by the elastic surface portion means and the seat means is divided into various sections 37, which in turn can be filled with different, independent amounts and/or pressures of medium, or even with different types of mediums. According to one preferred embodi¬ ment the rear portion of the seat means is arranged to rise to an essentially higher level than the front portion, by which the sitting down and rising up is facilitated.

Fig. 4 discloses a further embodiment of the invention, by which the comfort of the seat is further increased and which increases the suitability thereof as, for instance, a helping device for disabled people. Seat means 44 are provided with at least one supporting arm means 44' . Suitable means providing a change in the pressure of the medium can even be mounted in connection with the supporting arm means. In the embodiment of Fig. 4, however, said means is a feet pump 41 , which is operationally connected directly to a space 40 defined between the elastic means 46 and the seat ring means 44.

Fig. 5 discloses a still further embodiment, in which the seat means comprise an upper and a lower essentially rigid layer 55, 54 or structure. A plurality of collapsible or extendable means are arranged between said layers, the cylinder means 56 of the Fig. 5 being an example of such means. These means can naturally be of any other suitable type, such as air pillows or bags, one or a plurality of which is disposed within said space, or the space between the rigid members 54 and 55 can be an essentially continuous airtight or impermeable, a bellows type space, the walls of which are of a suitable elastic material and thus permit the raising and lowering of the structure.

Fig. 6 discloses a further embodiment which is accomplished by utilizing cylinder means according to Fig 5. The upper rigid surface structure 66 is heavily inclined towards the user to facilitate his or hers sitting down / getting off . The inclination is provided by cooperation of first cylinder means 63 and second cylinder means 62. Pivoting means 65 are disposed on the top surface of said second cylinder means 62. Said second cylinder means 62 are disposed in the lowest / most collapsed position to turn the upper surface 66 of the seat ring portion around the pivoting means 65 and to bring the front end to as low a position as possible. The embodiment can, of course, also be realized by other means than by the cylinder means disclosed above, for instance by suitable air bags or the like.

Even though the invention can be realized by collapsible means 62 and 63 disposed under the rigid ring-like surface portion 66, it is possible to further integrate an inflatable elastic portion, as disclosed e.g. in Figs. 1 a and b, on top of the rigid portion 66.

Fig. 7 discloses a sectional front view of the seat means according to the present invention. An elastic portion 76 provided on top of the seat ring means is formed as a cone tapering upwardly from the sidewalls 71 thereof and such that a top portion 72 is thicker than the sidewall portions. By this kind of arrangement seat means can be provided in which the size of the aperture 75 does not essentially alter when adjusting the height of the seat. Correspon¬ dingly, the side walls and the top portion can be provided with suitable reinfor¬ cements or textures or ribbing or the like to guide the deformation in a desired manner. The person skilled in the art is familiar with these techniques as well as with the methods by which this kind of elastic portion is formed during the manufacture such that it stretches and collapses in a desired manner.

According to one preferred embodiment, in contrast to that shown in Fig. 7, the seat ring means 74 are provided with such elastic means or similar means that the size of the aperture 75 can be easily altered, preferably reduced by the pressure and/or volume of the medium in the space 70. Such reducing is realized e.g. by arranging the inner side walls such that they stretch essentially more than the other walls of the elastic portion.

It should be noted that all the above mentioned embodiments can be fitted to a normal toilet seat in a similar manner to that by which the prior art lid/seat ring portions are assembled thereto. They can also be easily pivotable into an up¬ lifted position in a similar manner to the prior art seat ring solutions.

The adjusting operations of the apparatus according to the present invention are preferably performed by altering the volume and/or pressure of the medium in space 20, 40 or 70, or alternatively within collapsible means 56 or 62 and 63, for example by pump means 21 or 41 or by an electrically driven pump. The medium is preferably conducted to the space 20 or sectional space like 27 or 37 by channel means provided in connection with the seat means, in case the medium is air or a similar environmentally harmless substance, it can also

be vented into the atmosphere of the toilet room, when necessary. Otherwise the medium is conducted back to the medium source when the size of the seat is altered in an other direction, i.e. the medium is in a so called closed circu¬ lation system.

According to one embodiment, a suitable medium arranged to harden into a form, such as a suitable expandable extrusion plastic or rubber, is applied inside the elastic surface portion 16, said medium being brought to set in a shape according to the characteristic features of the user and as desired by him or her. The shape-setting or adapting is performed such that after the medium is applied inside the elastic surface portion, the user test sits the seat by sitting down on the seat, whereby the characteristic shapes and features are pressed into the medium. Then the medium is subsequently allowed to harden into the desired shape. It is also possible to shape or form the medium in a desired manner after the test sitting, for instance when a certain portion of the users buttocks coming into contact with the seat means are known to require more support than the other body areas of the user. By this means a personally shaped toilet seat is provided, which is of significant assistance e.g. to those suffering from some kind of disability or illness.

According to another preferred embodiment suitable granules, spheres or similar particles are used as medium inside the elastic surface portion 1 6. The diameter of such granules or spheres is preferably around 2 to 1 0 millimeters, but also other sizes are possible. The granules or spheres settle during a test sitting or at the beginning of the sitting to a certain space and shape. An underpressure or partial vacuum can be subsequently generated inside the ring and thus the air between the elastic surface portion and the ring means is removed, whereby the granules or spheres underneath the elastic material are restrained due to the powerful bearing effect of the material towards the granules or spheres. Each user of the seat may thus initially adjust a seat to feel comfortable to him or her and also settle the seat to keep such a shape as long as required. He or she has also a possibility of altering the shape simply by removing the underpressure and by slightly moving him or herself and by subsequently providing a new underpressure, whereby the relative position of the spheres or granules is altered in a desired manner. Such an underpressure can be generated by a suitable vacuum pump or similar means well know by the skilled man.

According to a still further alternative the granules or spheres forming the medium can be of a suitable metallic material, the position of which can be altered by a suitable electric field provided adjacent to them. In case the system comprises suitable memory means, the seat portion operationally connected thereto "remembers" the special features of each user and is capable of automatically setting in a desired position before the user sits down.

Thus, the invention provides an apparatus and a method by which a significant improvement in the comfort is achieved when using a toilet seat. The seat according to the present invention provides a wide range of adjustments and it has diversified properties, thereby providing assistance to the toilet visit of, for example, aged or disabled persons.

It should be noted that the foregoing examples of the embodiments of the invention are not intented to restrict the scope of the invention defined in the appended claims.