The Rolling Fountain

Tasked with visualising the repeating actions of our day, we looked at the obvious, toilet use.

Harking at Rube Goldberg machines, the dropping of a ball represents the use of the toilet. When the ball is in suspension the toilet is in use. And when the ball drops, the use of the toilet is complete.

A total number of balls collected in the bowl gives us an estimation of how many times the toilet has been used. The idea was to build a playful object that reflects the workings of a very mundane system.

This was a one-day project in Physical Computing to learn wireless communication between two Arduino boards using the Xbee shield.  We used a capacitance sensor under the toilet seat to send data wirelessly to the Rolling Fountain which controlled the movement of the balls on the ramp through programmed servo motors.