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Sorry if this subject isn't up to the usual tech. standards. :(

I bought 2 toilet seats about a year ago that, after a push, close themselves slowly and gently.

I like them a lot...

Does anyone know specifically how they do that? I think it could be applied to other things.

I have seen similar looking action on cassette decks, CD player lids, and calculators that unfold themselves. Seems like some sort of hydraulic gizmo, but on the toilet seat, the hinges aren't a whole lot different looking than any other seats... a little larger.

I know this seems weird, but I would like to know how they work. :(
I am not a toilet seat expert, but I can speak for a few cassette decks. I used this same approach to limit the drop on a mechanical arm:

The axle-shaft is connected to a centrifugal clutch, through a set of gears. The gears cause the clutch to spin a bunch of turns for a just a few degrees on the main shaft. The clutch is designed to drag in it's outer wall when it reaches a certain speed, which prevents it from turning any faster. This causes the whatever to move at a constant, predefined speed.

I doubt that your toilet seat uses the same approach, as the gear-train would have to be quiet rugged. I suspect it may be some pneumatic mechanism, like on a screen door. On the cassette decks, and on my arm, you could hear the whirrrr of the clutch. On a pneumatic cylinder, you should hear the hissss of air. A hydraulic mechanism would probably be silent.
Are you talking about the TOTO toilet seats from Japan? I put a TOTO toilet in a few weeks ago and it has a "Soft Close" lid.
I don't know what a TOTO is. This is just a Westport brand by Bemis, bought at Lowe's. I guess you would call it a soft close... that's what it does

It really works quite well...the seat and lid individually.. and for a year so far with no bulky contraptions or anything.

I've Googled and looked and can't find anything... lots of other stuff should work so well and smoothly. :)
It probably uses a dampening cylinder filled with viscous oil that just limits the speed at which gravity drops the item. Same thing is used for phonograph arms, cassette player doors, etc. Like a shock absorber, or screen door closer without the pressurized portion. Some are rotary in style, too.