Collapsible porta-potty built in Windsor, Ont. ready to flush the market
The P-Pod is a 100 per cent Windsor made product
Rob Weir first illustrated his vision of a collapsible porta-potty by drawing on the inside of a pizza box.
Five years later, the southern Ontario inventor has his latest prototype of the P-Pod ready for display at a restroom trade show in Indiana.
When his outdoor washroom is collapsed, it stands just a third the height of a traditional porta-potty. That means companies can transport three times as many units at considerable savings.
Weir and his partner — Advantage Engineering — are already getting interest from several groups, including military and disaster-relief organizations. The latest design allows a single P-Pod to be easily attached to a vehicle's bumper.
"I think it can be a revolutionary product for portable sanitation," Weir told CBC News.
Last year, Weir had a crude stainless steel prototype built as he first brought his idea to life. He then shopped around for someone to come up with a plastic model that would be closer to the end product.
The design uses a single bar inside the P-Pod to hold the unit upright. Release the bar, and the portable toilet folds into its compact position.
Weir, who is part-owner of Festival Tents and Party Rentals, says his customers are already interested in the new product. He hopes to garner more attention next week at the Water and Wastewater Equipment, Treatment and Transport Show held in Indiana.
100 per cent Windsor product
Every stage of production for the P-Pod has been done in Windsor, Weir explained.
The heavy lifting has been done by Advantage Engineering, which Weir partnered with to come up with the latest model. It was constructed out of 72 plastic pieces built from a 3D printer.
"This product — when it's all said and done — will have been born in Windsor, developed in Windsor, produced in Windsor, manufactured in Windsor," he said. "It's not that I tried to keep it here, it's just that everything I needed was right here."
Weir thought he would have to source seats for his portable thrones from a company in China, until he found a manufacturer in Windsor who could supply the seats for him.
"It was almost like the crown on top of it, when it was all done," Weir said.
Moving to full production will likely create up to 40 new jobs in Windsor, explained Shaun Cole of Advantage Engineering.
"We'll see what the demand is and then, hopefully, start construction on injection moulds for mass production," he said.