Hacked Bubble Machine

In Physical Computing we’re exploring analog inputs and played with potentiometers and servo motors this week.  We’re beginning to learn how to map our code which essentially creates barriers. For our piece Dani had the idea of creating a bubble art piece where bubbles appeared to form on top of a pedestal in a clear box.

We made a bubble machine with an analog input using a potentiometer as a switch that turned on the motor that made bubbles.  We got the machine to make bubbles relatively quickly but had issues with letting the bubbles be released into the air.  They grew and then popped. We  realized we would need something like a windshield wiper that would cut off the bubbles and allow them to fly off. We tried a few different methods but succeeded with mapping a servo motor in our code.  Once the potentiometer reached a certain amount we told the servo to do a 180 degree switch.  With strings attached on both sides of the fan part of the servo this pulled the wiper up and down.  Very hacky and with some glitches (the string needed to be in the right position to not get stuck), the machine needs to be turned on a few times and wiped a few times before it really gets going.  But – bubble maker achieved!!!  We used a cardboard box to simulate the pedestal but hope to once we work the bugs out install it in a stand with a see-through case on top.

Analog Bubble Machine from Oriana Neidecker on Vimeo.