Waterfall Swing Set

[Doped Boron] wrote in to tell us about this waterfall swing by [Dash 7]. Naturally, we had no idea what a “waterfall swing” was. Shown at the World Maker Faire in 2011, the device is a swing set capable of accommodating one or two people using it at a time. What makes it interesting, is that water comes out of the top support bar, forming a wall of water for the riders to pass through. This wall is then broken when the swing user flies through it making for a dry experience.

According to the article, 273 solenoid valves are used to control the wall of water. These solenoids are controlled by a computer with sensors that detect where the riders are in the air and what speed they are going. As with most good hacks, it may not serve a “grown-up” purpose, but a set would definitely make a trip to the park more interesting!

Be sure to check out the videos after the break. The first shows the swing in its traditional role, but the second may be even more interesting, showing full control of the swing solenoids for water writing!

Comments

  1. t&p says:

    I think the water writing was the best and words can not describe how impressive it was!

  2. Thopter says:

    Yikes, that does not look stable at all. That side-to-side rocking is disconcerting.

  3. rue_mohr says:

    interesting, according to the distortion of the writing, there is some acceleration compensation thats needed. an interesting problem indeed.
    great work!

    • Mysterio says:

      Good luck overcoming gravity. Once you release a drop, it’s out of your hands. The drops at the bottom will always be going faster than drops at the top, hence there will always be distortion. No algorithm for controlling how the water will be released at the top can overcome that.

      • Anonnn says:

        True, but perhaps a calibration so that the image is ‘in focus’ in the middle of the fall instead of at the top? This way the ‘total distortion’ would be half as bad (squished towards the top and spread at the bottom)?

  4. kernelcode says:

    Have you seen this? Similar idea but bigger/better
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19873953

  5. M4CGYV3R says:

    I wonder truly how dry of a ride that would be. Looks like the girl gets her legs doused at least once.

  6. Hirudinea says:

    Cool, but I think the writing would look better inverted (Background water, letter no water as opposed to what it is now) and can you keep the water going all the time so the person gets soaked? When its how in the summer swinging through a waterfall naked would be so refreshing!

    • Hirudinea says:

      How should be hot and naked should be bare assed naked.

      • Jason says:

        I read your comment twice before I could make sense of it, and my first reaction was feeling disappointed in myself for being annoyed at someone who clearly doesn’t speak English as a first language.

        This is why we’re supposed to quote words when we’re referring to the words themselves, rather than their meanings.

  7. Galane says:

    What I’ve yet to see on any of these controlled waterfalls is acceleration compensation.

    Adjust the release timing inversely so that by the time the top of a graphic is released, the acceleration of previously released drops has stretched out to fill the frame with an undistorted graphic.

    In other words, release the bottom drops faster than the top drops so that initially the graphic is vertically compressed, getting less compressed over time.

  8. Anonymous says:

    They clearly need to adjust the timing on the swinging part though. Tons of head room but the feet get wet. It also looks dangerously weak for swinging.

    As for the people complaining about there being no acceleration compensation, it won’t do you much good unless you’re going for a still picture of it. The bottom will always be accelerating faster than the top, so at best you’d get something that’s stretching out until it hits the ground. Besides, I think it looks cool with the acceleration as-is.

    • M4CGYV3R says:

      Assuming acceleration comes only from gravity, over these short distances it can be considered constant. It is the velocity that is greater at the bottom than the top.

  9. NewCommentor1283 says:

    looks cool as is.

    proof its possible…

    so many times ive said; “ME: waterfall graphic display yo. OTHER: impossible, dubmass!”

    this prouves me right saying that its actually possible! yay

  10. alias says:

    great execution and impressive display. Cant wait for next version using laminar flow!

  11. strontium5 says:

    I think the 2D elementary cellular automata patterns would be perfect for this.

  12. Mark A says:

    With the write programming I sure you could convert this into a giant TV screen.
    If you had 3 of them and used coloured water it would be a colour TV.
    You could use recycled coloured water for each layer or coloured lights above the 3 layers.

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