"Insectopia" is a water fountain, featuring a pond surrounded by insects, who perform by squirting water into
the pond. There is a circle of water jets coming from inside the pond, and some of the insects have special
tricks. A bee flies off of a flower, buzzes around making noise until a frog squirts him and he lands back on
the flower. A ladybug squirts water into a cup on a pendulum, which pivots back until the water dumps out,
the pendulum returns so that the ladybug can do it again.
A submersible pump provides water pressure to squirt the water.
This is my first computer-controlled water fountain. It won Best of Show at the Solano County Fair,
and then won the Award of Excellence and the Creativity Trophy at the California State Fair.
A tiny faucet fills a bucket, a grasshopper pulls a chain which empties the bucket into a funnel.
The water seems to go down the funnel, spiral down a tower, and then squirt out the side of the
tower until it hits a spider, spinning the spider on his web.
The fountain is made of brass and copper, that are unfinished, and gradually developing a patina over
time. The base is made of laminated plastic, and coated with a simulated granite textured coating.
The 16 spouts in the pond race around the circle, and make patterns of water into the center. Another
spout in the very center adds to this. The whole performance lasts about 3 minutes.
The fountain has 27 valves and 3 servomotors that are controlled by two Basic Stamp
microcontrollers. My first concept of a fountain involved mechanical switches to turn on the
water spouts. When I discovered what these microcontrollers can do, and realized that I could
get the fountain to do whatever I wanted it to, I knew I had found the way to make my fountain.
Bee on a flower