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AquaGel is a sustainable water technology, it is a thin layer of Hydrogel that is able to extract a volume of clean, reliable drinking water from the fog.

  • AquaGel

  • Biomimic Test

  • Sketch

  • Unit, Drone, and system develop for architecture

Ce qu'il fait

AquaGel is a sustainable water technology, it is a thin layer of Hydrogel that is able to extract a volume of clean, reliable drinking water from the fog.

Votre source d'inspiration

The designer's experience of going to Hoh Xil for volunteer inspired this design. The high altitude in the area is not suitable for human habitation. As an animal protection rescue and transportation supply station on the main traffic line, it needs continuous attention and support from the society. However, the Hoh Xil Reserve has inconvenient transportation and no water supply. People living there have to go to miles away to obtain water. The original intention of this design is to obtain water in a cheap way in the desert area, reduce high-intensity physical labor, and introduce scientific analysis methods to achieve the expected function.

Comment ça marche

The design is a product also an architecture. To break it done. The structure is computer generated and developed through grasshopper. This design is based on wind data and is optimized for maximum efficiency in collecting fog. Each modular unit consists of windproof gauze, the water collection hydrogel, a wooden edge frame for structural support, and a three-way connection structure to hold everything together. This design likely ensures that the unit is sturdy, lightweight, and capable of withstanding environmental conditions while capturing droplets. Inside each modular, There is a layer of 3D printed hydrogel material. Using common acrylamide and acrylic acid as monomers, along with N, N'-methylbisacrylamide and polyethylene glycol diacrylate as crosslinking agents. The 3D printed hydrogel surface mimic sea sponge and bettle, with a network of nodes for water droplets to condense, and planning the trajectory of water droplets.

Processus de conception

We developed the whole system from material to architecture. 1. Hydrogel Development: The first crucial step is creating the hydrogel material for efficiently collect and retain water from fog. We also 3D printed Hydrogel: mimic spider web, sea sponge, and desert bettle. The last two has a higher performance than the first one. 2. Lightweight Unit Design: The second step involves designing a single lightweight unit. We went through lasercutting and CNC. To figure out the light structure (enables drone to hold it) and assembly solutions. 3. Structure Inspired by a Tree: The third step uses computational design tools like Grasshopper to create a structure that resembles a large tree. By mimicking natural structures, such as trees, which are known to capture water from fog and condensation, the efficiency of water collection can be enhanced. 4. Workable Drone for Transporting Units: The fourth and final step involves developing a functional drone capable of transporting the units to their deployment locations. The drone's automatic program allows it to follow pre-defined routes based on starting and ending coordinates. It's equipped with sensors to detect the environment and obstacles, enabling quick maneuvering to avoid collisions during use.

En quoi est-il différent ?

In the field of digital construction, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) are one of the important media in the current robot domain. With the continuous improvement of spatial positioning accuracy, research on their involvement in digital construction is also advancing. This project separates the robot path planning platform from the robot motion control platform. In addition to using the commonly used Grasshopper platform in digital architectural design, it introduces the ROS open-source system (Robot Operating System) and robot path planning algorithms based on depth camera visual perception. This implementation facilitates the connection between Windows and Linux operating systems and the fusion of digital and real spaces. By establishing communication and data conversion methods between ROS modules and Grasshopper, this project constructs a suitable autonomous construction technology framework for unmanned aerial vehicles to build complex scenes.

Plans pour l'avenir

Our next step is to start with pilot projects in selected desert and protected areas to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of AquaGel in real-world conditions. Involve local communities in the development and implementation process.


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