Main Project Inspirations 2020: Water Clock

For my Main Project in this class, I would like to incorporate water and electronics in some way. I have been thinking about using a pump to continuously and uniformly drip water on some lever or sensor. From the feedback of the sensor, a clock will tick, and an LCD screen can display the time. Or alternatively, water could be pumped into some kind of container at a steady rate and a pressure transducer could determine how much water is in the container, mapping the pressures to a 24 hour time. At this point, this is a really rough idea and I am open to pivoting or incorporating other features. Here are a couple images of how it could be made.

This is a device that monitors daily water intake by measuring the amount of water in the bottle[1]
This is another example in which an Arduino is used to determine the water level in this container. It uses an ultrasonic sensor.[2]
This is a “falling water” clock in which the letters are mapped out by releasing water from up above. I would love to create something like this as well, although it may be out of the scope of this class.[3]

All in all, the main components will be water and electronics. With technology improving daily, most consumer electronics are water resistant or water proof to some degree. However, electronics + water still has this counter-intuitive sense about it. I think using this aesthetic could really grab peoples’ attention. I have yet to brainstorm some other ideas. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.


[1] “Arduino-Powered Water Bottle – Arduino Project Hub.” Accessed February 17, 2020.

[2] Wireless Water Level Indicator Using Arduino And Ultrasonic Sensor. Accessed February 17, 2020.

[3] reddit. “R/Pics – Osaka Station Water Clock.” Accessed February 17, 2020.

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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Daniel –

    Great ideas as per usual. I like that you included specifics as to what you wanted to do with your final project as well as the specific pictures that you included to show where your vision was headed. In my opinion, the falling water clock looks the most aesthetically appealing and I gravitated to that idea the most. It might be out of the scope of this class, but maybe you can find a simplified version of it without taking away too much of the aesthetic away. I briefly tried to search for a simplified version but haven’t able to, if I do i’ll let you know.

    • Thanks, Will! I agree, the falling water clock would be awesome, but I may not have time to do a justice with it. I may lean towards one of my simpler options.

  • Hey man, I really like the featured image that you found. Although it would be pretty hard to pull off, I find that intersection of water and technology really appealing.
    Like what we were talking about today, mixing a flowing aspect into this would be pretty cool. There are some water fountain pumps that I’ve used in the past that are pretty reliable and decently quiet that you might be able to use for this.

    Also on the intersection of water and tech, it made me think of this wild way that water reacts to constant frequency sound:

    • Max, that video is super cool! I wonder if I could incorporate this somehow into my project. Thanks for that. I will pick your brain more about those water fountain pumps.

  • Jackson Hootman
    February 20, 2020 5:08 pm

    Hi Daniel! I think these are great ideas. I agree that the falling water clock may be out of scope but I think a scaled down, simplistic version could be possible. Some interesting patterns could probably be made with just 10-20 outlets. In terms of the water intake tracker idea, I think you can push that one a bit further. It would be interesting if the user could input a desired amount of water to drink per day. From there, desired water intake can be calculated at any given time. Using RGB LEDs you can display a continuous indicator as to how you currently compare to the desired water intake (red for behind schedule, green for on schedule).

    • Jackson, thanks for you comment. I will keep brainstorming on the falling water clock concept. The water tracker concept is also a great idea; the first image in my post of the pink water bottle does just that. I will keep this in mind though, because I do find it interesting. The idea behind the water tracker and the water clock is effectively the same, just different outputs from the sensor feedback.


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