Digital Drop

Digital Drop is a project in which I tried to create a digital echo of a naturally occurring phenomena. I was intrigued by the incompatible natures of the digital and the physical. The space of code and digital signals are somewhat alien to the world that we humans are made to navigate in. This made me think that it would be interesting to try to integrate these to worlds by simply creating a replica of a common physical phenomena digitally. I ended up choosing dripping water because of its repetitive occurrence which I thought has strong similarities to the common code function; the for loop.

working principle

A small amount of water is randomly released from a solenoid valve located above the installation. When the water falls down through a hole in the center of the installation, a laser beam is deflected which allows the system detect the falling of the water. The system then activates the sound effect, starts the LED light function and pumps new water up into the solinoid valve.

Below you can see most of the electronics that was necessary for this system to run. That said, I feel that if I had to do it all over I would probably do it quite a bit differently - I guess that I one of the reasons why I keep doing this sort of thing.


As usual this project turned out to be more complicated than what I originally thought it would be. Though as of right now I see that as a positive thing because that gave me the opportunity to learn about thing such as the importance of processing speed of microcontrollers when dealing with high speed sensing and how to create integrated sound effects in order to make a more rich experience for the spectator