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!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1uwQVtHHOQ%5D

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_XqAP0k1yw%5D

21 thoughts on “Waterfall Swing Set

    1. 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.

      1. 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)?

  1. 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!

      1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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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