Liquid Tree

Liquid Tree is decorative, functional, and green. It’s a liquid feedback display created by [Jia Yi Lin] that is designed to tell you exactly how much water you’re wasting in the shower. Behind the pretty tubes is some interesting hardware. [Lin] used an Arduino board, and based her code off the Unipolar Stepper example. She’s posted her own code and wiring for the project. When hot water is turned on, the motors decrease the amount of liquid in the tubes. This causes the pattern to slowly disappear, indicating water consumed.

[via NOTCOT]

22 thoughts on “Liquid Tree

  1. Nice. Now you can waste power while you waste water. ;)

    I kid, but I do wonder whether it’s possible to put a small turbine or wheel inline with the water pipe so the circuit is hydropowered. Somewhat similar to stationary cycles that use your pedal power to drive the display.

    very cool project, I love unique ways to visualize data.

  2. Seriously, you can’t /waste/ water, I mean it’s almost impossible unless you’re converting it into something else, in which it could probably be reformed afterwards anyway… Personally, I’ve had enough of the eco bulls**t. I guess I’m all for new energy but not all the time they shove lies down our throats. Enough ranting, pointless product, interesting concept I guess though.. Maybe…

  3. I would say that the water used for irrigation (well, for anyone that doesn’t have less than a few square meters of grass per person on their property) is far worse than the water used for showering. each of those impact sprinklers is spraying 2x as much water as your shower head, and when you count the number of heads that are running at one time times how long they run any house with a yard will use way more water for that than their showers…

    Not to say that cutting 5 minutes off your shower doesn’t help, but cutting 30seconds off your sprinkler times would have more of an effect…

    That aside, the engineering of that tree is quite nice! I like how it was integrated into the shower as well, making something that is waterproof and looks nice isn’t easy…

  4. I don’t get it. What does it really do? The site is written too artsy to get the salient fact across. It looks like the steppers dink with the water controls, but to what end? What does it do, freeze your knees off to get you to hurry up? Or am I missing something bloody obvious?

  5. I’m not particularly interested in saving water. Saving water is a Californian thing; they have no water because they live in a freaking desert! Want to save water in California? Pack up the U-Haul and move to someplace that has water! Idiots.

  6. From what I can tell, the device have two rheostats which controls their respective stepper motor through a arduino. The tubes with coloured liquids are sealed and only partially filled, with have plenty of slack behind the front panel. The stepper motor is connected to the slack part of the tube via a string (can hardly see it in the photo) and as it turns, it lowers the tube causing the liquid in the front to flow to the slack part behind.

    It doesn’t appear to be connected to the water system at all. Presumably, the user is suppose to gauge his water usage rate and set the rheostat accordingly. Looks nice, but technically not all that impressive.

  7. I don’t waste water in the shower, showering is good, and long showers keep me sane.
    Also water doesn’t disappear, it’ll flow back into nature and how can clean water flowing in nature be bad? Only issue can be the energy you used to clean it originally, and since most water is groundwater that’s not too much of an issue, and if you have to use power for the pumps, well you can use green power created with renewable resources.
    In short all the water saving talk is pure BS unless you live in a third world desert region, and I wish people would stop that nonsense already to be honest.

  8. Ecomentalists aside, water scarcity has been an issue for some communities since they were founded. Water rights, conservation, scarcity and drought has been an issue in Colorado for a long time. A farmer even once dried up the Colorado River! The water you use doesn’t all make it’s way neatly back into nature to replenish itself. Some communities are heavily dependent on rain or snow pack to replenish aquifers and reservoirs. You can indeed waste water, or at least use it faster than it can be replenished. Denver has had water restrictions on and off for years, so it’s definitely a serious issue for some.

    Perhaps the device isn’t relevant to you or your community, but it is to others. Either way the project is neat.

  9. It is depressing to hear how many posts are putting down the conservation of water and how important it can be. As some posters have mentioned it is not necessarily a problem in your own backyard but rather those further down the river. Rain does not automatically mean more water to use, it is incredibly naive to be so shortsighted and say water conservation is a crock of shit. Groundwater aquifers take a long time to recharge and excessive draw down can permanently damage the water table in some areas.

  10. Dont forget about water polluted with things such TCE (trichloroethylene) which is heavier then water. It plumes underground and spreads with groundwater. The federal government has found TCE at 614 (47%) of the
    nation’s 1300 official Superfund sites
    Many of these sites are most likely to be near a water supply. Example what happend in Woburn MA and cancer rates. Long hot showers also put more into your air if your water is contaminated with it.

  11. You “green” people are just nuts! Granted the liquid tree is pretty cool and I would think it would cool to have on in the bathroom for my young kids.

    GREEN GREEN GREEN… I am so sick of hearing about green this green that… and how the polar bears are all going to die! Do the research and you see that the polar bear population increased through the roof. Stop allowing others do the thinking for you and think for youself!

  12. its not really about being green so much as trying to evolve to a more sustainable society so that we can stick around longer without exhausting all of our resources. try thinking about the world your kids and your kids’ kids will live in for once, instead of the current situation. a single species is a poor choice to base the condition of the environment on.

  13. Brilliant project, well done!
    I don’t understand what people have to rant about the eco background (which is more than fine to me) but don’t waste a single word about the actual project, which needs quite a bit of craft(wo-)mansship, not programing skills alone. I like it!

  14. @loers: dude, nobody is talking about polar bears, al gore or global warming. Water rights have always been an issue, long before being “green” was cool. While some people may try and tie the GW scare into water rights(and nobody here did, FYI), the issue has always been population growth and distribution in areas already scarce of water. This isn’t something the prius crowd concocted in between gulps of al gore love juice.

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