Roll Pole - The Internet of Toilet Paper

Shamless project plug - Introducing Roll Pole. A Photon based toilet role pole which, when you run low, tells IFTTT to put toilet paper into your shopping basket.

Perhaps more interesting than automated ordering is the use of the Photon in low power mode and trying and get a single set of batteries to last a year, or at-least longer than a pack of toilet rolls! Ask me in 12 months how it has gone.

Side note: Yes I could use an Amazon Dash button, ironically having just written the project up on Hackster yesterday Amazon launched the Dash buttons in the UK today. However, the Roll Pole is way more fun and doesn’t need somebody to press a button :slight_smile:

Actually, don’t ask me how the batteries have done, you can see how they are doing for yourself:


How long have you had it up and running?


Internet of Potty

Copywrite 2016 J Brower



The database of records goes back to the 28th of this month so I would guess that’s how long it’s been online.

Thanks for sharing :smile:

It has been running in proper low power mode on a freshly charged set of NiMH batteries since the 29 August, before then I’ve just been playing with it and running it mainly from a bench PSU in more power hungry modes.

You can see from the chart, the final spike on the 29th is when I fitted the freshly charged set, since then the battery pack voltage has dropped to about 5.1V. It is running 4x AAA rechargeable NiMH which I would expect to be around 1.2V each (4.8V for the pack).

On the chart you can see the 27-28 of August was also a fresh set of batteries but reporting very frequently, hence a much shorter life, it looks like the longest stable working voltage of the batteries is in the 4.5 - 5V range for the pack which the current set are just getting down to so fingers crossed they have a lot of life in them yet…

Thanks for your interest :slight_smile:

You could use the Amazon Dash Replenishment Service ( to automatically order more toilet paper when you run low. Would be a fun Hackerster article.

@harrisonhjones It kind of does that, except, it uses Tesco (a UK super market) via the IFTTT channel, however Tesco only allow products to be placed in the basket and not automatically ordered for delivery - without ironing out a few issues I’m happier as it is rather than having random deliveries of toilet paper from Amazon every other day :wink:

Thanks for the heads up on the Dash Replenishment service, that will defiantly be interesting to play with!

I completely understand this! That being said, there is a "sandbox" mode that emulates a purchase but doesn't actually charge your credit card. Just something to look into. If I find time I might write a tutorial on integrating Webhooks with DRS.

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@harrisonhjones I would love to see that Amazon DRS via Webhook tutorial because it would allow any business to add their product to Amazon Fulfilment service and let the Dash Replenishment Service to automatically send a product refill to that customer.

Like, send new water purification filters once the current filter has hit the end of its lifespan.

Sounds good. If you don’t see anything in a week from me shoot me a PM

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That’s fabulous! Love the idea. It’s all good, clean (maybe) fun until the US healthcare insurance companies start using your toilet paper consumption data to make inaccurate assumptions about your health, and use that as an excuse to raise your insurance premiums. Yeah, I’m kidding, but it really isn’t that far fetched…

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On a more serious note, this sounds like a great idea for hotels, restaurants, etc. At least assuming you can get the battery consumption down to a level similar to the enclosed 10 year life smoke detectors.