The Fascinating and Forgotten World of Hydraulic Computing


The Fascinating and Forgotten World of Hydraulic Computing

If you walked up to someone today and asked what types of computers there were out there: they would probably wonder if you were referring to the differences between a desktop, laptop, and maybe something like a Raspberry Pi. Or even a quantum or optical/photonic computer.

But as the rich and diverse history of computing shows: a computer can be made from practically anything. As has been seen with mechanical, fluidic/flueric, biological, and many other systems.

For this post, however, I will give some very interesting insights into the Hydraulic Computer and its amazing, yet largely unknown history. As it is a device that should be deeply reconsidered for implementation in the modern day.

The First Hydraulic Computer

 Schematic of Mihailo Petrovic's Hydraulic Computer  [1]

Schematic of Mihailo Petrovic's Hydraulic Computer [1]

 Replica of Petrovic's Hydraulic Integrator  [3]    (Location Unknown)

Replica of Petrovic's Hydraulic Integrator [3]

(Location Unknown)

The first known modern Hydraulic Computer was created in the 1890s by Mihailo Petrovic of Serbia for the solution of First-Order Ordinary Differential Equations (ODEs) [1] [2] [3]. At the time: the device sparked a good amount of interest in the scientific community [1] [4] [5], but was not further developed by Mr. Petrovic; as he was more concerned with researching differential equations and mathematical analogs to natural phenomena than developing machines [6] [7].

The Hydro-Integrator

Independent of this research: Dimitri Budrin created a hydraulic computer, known as the Hydrointegrator, in 1932 at the Urals Institute of Steel in the U.S.S.R. [8]. Another engineer, Vladimir S. Lukyanov, had also developed a similar device at the People's Commissariat of Transport of the USSR (CNIIS) for calculating the expansion and contraction of soil in permafrost regions for the development of railroads in those regions [9]. These two engineers soon began to collaborate together on the Hydrointegrator [8] and its development in various fields.

Picture of a Hydraulic Integrator setup for solving 3-Dimensional PDEs [10]

Illustration depicting the relationship between a model of a multi-layer soil profile for a general permafrost region and the hydraulic analog to the model [16] [13]

The Hydraulic integrator was used in the Soviet Union from the early 1930s to the 1980s. It was used to calculate mainly diffusion-type Partial Differential Equations in the fields of mining, metallurgy, geology, civil engineering, and rocket science [8] [9]. For further information on the Hydro-Integrator: I have included a list of patents at the bottom of this article.

This device uses what is known as the Finite Difference Method to represent multiple sections or layers of a material across a given span by multiple standpipes and valves. These compnents are then adjusted individually to represent the various values of the material(s) being simulated [14] [16]. The hydraulic resistance of each section was adjusted by either twisting a special adjustable capilary tube, or simply using a valve that could readily have its value dialed in. The cross-sectional area of the standpipes were adjusted by either using pipes with different diameters, or immersing rectangular strips of metal into the pipe [14] [16].

The Hydrointegrator works by exploiting the nearly identical similarity between Darcy's Law of fluid flow through porous media and Fouier's Law of heat conduction in one-dimension [14] [16]. These laws are then transformed to form difference equations which can then be simulated by the apparatus by representing the rate of heat conduction by the rate of water flow, the amount of heat in a given section of material by the amount of water in a standpipe, the heat capicity of the material by the cross-sectional area of the standpipe, and the thermal resistance of the material by the hydraulic resistance of the valves [14], adjustable capillary tubes [16], etc. that is placed between each standpipe.

The Hydraulic Integrator could be extended into different fields by simply substituting the unit to be measured for its hydraulic analog and modifying portions of the device for factors that are unique to the type of problem being solved for (such as additional reservoirs placed atop the first few standpipes in the apparatus to simulate the effects of latent heat when calculating the freezing and thawing of soils [14] [16].

In the present: two surviving Hydraulic Integrators can be found at the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow, Russia [9].


The Hydrocal

Arthur D. Moore's 'Hydrocal' (1935) [11]

Another coincidental creation of a hydraulic computer came in 1935, when Dr. Arthur D. Moore of the University of Michigan created a very similar apparatus known as the 'Hydrocal' [11] [12]; with its name lending to the fact that it was originally designed for the simulation of chemical reactions [11]. This device was very much like the Hydro-Integrator, except that it featured a plugboard-like panel for re-arranging the connections between tubes. As well as a board that all of the tubes in the device were affixed to, so that the cross-sectional areas of the tubes could be modified by changing the angle of the board [12].

Unfortunately, however, Dr. Moore's invention suffered from several flaws and was abandoned by him a few years later.

The Hydraulic Integrator Developed at MIT

In 1947, inspired by the works of V. S. Lukyanov and A. D. Moore: professors Harl P. Aldrich and Henry M. Paynter, as well as Robert F. Scott and other students, of the Massechusets Institute of Technology (MIT) had designed and constructed a functional Hydraulic Integrator for the solution of heat transfer in multi-layered soils in 1-dimension [20].

This second integrator was part of a contract between MIT (via the Division of Industrial Cooperation(DIC Project No. 5-7155 )) [16] and the Artic Construction and Frost Effects Laboratory (ACFEL) of the New England Division of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was launched to evaluate the performance and feasibility of using the Hydraulic Integrator for the computation of freezing and thawing in soils in permafrost regions [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19].

The device ( best illustrated in the ACFEL Technical Reports 42 and 62, as well as CRREL Technical Report #135 [15] [16] [19] ) was relatively simple in its design and construction, consisting mainly of vertical glass tubes connected together by adjustable capillary tubes [16], as well as several reservoirs which simulated the presence of latent heat in the system [16]. The design itself was essentially a stripped-down version of the Lukyanov Hydraulic Integrator (missing instruments like flowmeters, dial-adjusted resistors, prismatic metal inserts, etc.), with the exception of an electromechanically actuated 'Programmer' device that was used to automatically adjust the height of the reservoir that supplied water to the rest of the apparatus [16] [19].

Picture of the Hydraulic Analog Computer developed at MIT [16]

According to Technical Report 62: the inaccuracy of the results obtained from the device was found to be negligible when the solutions are programmed as per the procedure given in chapter 4 of 'Design and Operation of an Hydraulic Analog Computer for Studies of Freezing and Thawing of Soils' [16 - page 36] [17]. This same conclusion was also reached in ACFEL Technical Report 67 [18].

In 1963: the error of the Hydraulic Analog Computer was also found to be low by by Rhoderick Hawk and William Lamb in their study of the heat flow through typical walls found in buildings [19]. They reported that the average error returned by the computer was 3.2%; although several of the errors were due to the function of the Programmer, which would fail to run at a constant speed; and the cam for the input curve would slightly slip during its operation.

Currently it is unknown exactly why the project, although being a success, wasn't further developed and extended into fields outside of civil engineering; but some of the reports indicate that the device was very tedious reconfigure between experiments, as each resistor and standpipe needed to be manually re-adjusted. However, the most likely factor that stopped the proliferation of the Hydraulic Computer in the United States: was the advancement of the electronic analog and digital computers that were far easier to operate and could be rapidly reconfigured to solve problems that were outside the reach of hydraulic computers at that time.

Both the blueprints and operation instructions can be found in 'Design and Operation of an Hydraulic Analog Computer for Studies of Freezing and Thawing of Soils' [16] for those interested in creating a replica of the device.

Other Hydraulic Computers

Throughout the rest of the 20th Century, a few other hydraulic computers were occasionally produced by various inventors. A few are mentioned here.

In 1957: two Czechoslovakian nationals, Alois Polangski and Mirko Hruby, filed a patent titled 'Hydromechanical Model' [22]. Which was an apparent improvement over the 'Hydrocal' designed by Arthur D. Moore. The device (US Patent 2903186 ) is very simiar to the one developed at MIT, in that an electronic controller is used for the Programmer, but features an improved setup that allows two programmers on either side of the device to interact with each other [22]. Nothing aside from the patent can be found on either the device or its inventors.

Another, apparently indepent, invention of a hydraulic computer: occured in 1964 in Austrailia by H. A. Scholer of the Sydney Department of Public Works [23]. The device was built to simulate the flow of surface water through the Howes Lagoon drainage area in New South Wales, Australia. The device works in a very simar manner to the other hydraulic computers (with the exception of M. Petrovic's device); with the exception that the interconnected reservoirs of water in the device are to represent specific bodies of water (namely lagoons), while the interconnecting pipes and valves represent the hydraulic resistance of the tributaries and rivers that interconnect the different bodies of water.

The most recent, and most versatile, invention of a hydraulic computer: is the Multi-Purpose Fluid Analog Computer developed by Parviz Monadjemi at Shiraz University in Iran in 2001 [26]. The computer features several improvements over the previous computers, including the ability to use feedback by connecting the standpipes/reservoirs at the tops of the containers (causing the air in one reservoir to interact with the air in either the other reservoirs or with the atmosphere), as well as produce various non-linear functions by using differently shaped reservoirs. The device functions in a very similar way to the Lukyanov Hydrointegrator; and can be used to solve diffusion type partial differential equations up to three dimensions by employing the very same techniques as the Hydrointegrator [14] [16] [26]. The main difference between this apparatus and the previous ones: is that tubes filled with porous rock are used in place of valves or adjustable capillary tubes for the hydraulic resistance [26], as the apparatus was mainly used in Hydrology for studying the flow of groundwater [24] [26].



The hydraulic computer is a very interesting and surprisingly accurate way to compute the solutions to a variety of different diffusion-type partial differential equations; and could possibly even be modified, using feedback, to handle elliptic partial differential equations (such as the Wave Equation). Although a technology such as this may be of little use for modern industry and computation: it presents a potentially powerful and highly available means for creating computation and control systems for the Developing World.


Additional Materials

Some of V. S. Lukyanov's Patents:   (can be found at

SU 41730, SU 43763, SU 44065, SU 49508

Other (Russian) Hydraulic Integrator Patents:

SU 1273032 Golub -- Hydraulic Integrator (1984), SU 974974 Hydraulic Integrator (1980), SU 808856 Hydraulic Integrator (1979), SU 1016680 Hydraulic Integrator (1983), SU 96947 Hydraulic Integrator (1954),



[1]   W. A. Price, (1900), Petrovitch’s Apparatus for integrating Differential Equations of the First Order, The London,
      Dublin, and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Taylor & Francis
, 1900, Vol. 49

[2]  Petrovic, A., (2004), Development of the first Hydraulic Analog Computer, ARIHS, 54, 97-110

[3]  Protic J. Ristanovic, N., (2011), Building Computers in Serbia:The First Half of the Digital Century, University of
      Belgrade, School of Electrical Engineering

[4]  Petrovitch, M. M.. (1900). Appareil a Liquide pour L'Intégration Graphique de Certains Types D'Équations
      Différentielles. American Journal of Mathematics
, 22(1), 1–12.

[5]  Petrovitch, M. M.. (1898). Sur L'Intégration Hydraulique des Équations Différentielles. American Journal of
, 20(4), 293–300.

[6]  Petrovic, A. (1910). Elementi Matematicke Fenomenologije (Serbian)

[7]  Petrovic, A. (1934). Fenomenolosko Preslikavanje (1933) (Serbian)

[8]  Kitaev B.I. Yaroshenko, Y. G. S. V. D., (2013), The Hydrointegrator - An Instrument for the Study of Thermal
      Processes, Heat Transfer in Shaft Furnaces Ch. 4, Elsevier
, pp. 19-28

[9]  Solovyova O. (2000), Computing Water Machines, NKJ Magazine (Online)

[10]  V. S. Lukyanov (1963), Computation of the Depth of the Freezing and Thawing in Soils, Proceedings of the Permafrost International Conference, National Academy of Sciences, pp. 281-285

[11]  A. D. Moore (1936), The Hydrocal, A Hydrodynamic Calculating Machine for Solving Unsteady-State Problems in Heat Transfer and Other Types of Diffusion, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Vol. 28, No. 6, pp. 704-708

[12]  A. D. Moore (1937), Calculating Machine, US 2082211

[13]  H. M. Paynter (????), A Retrospective on Early Analysis and Simulation of Freeze and Thaw Dynamics

[14]  V. S. Lukyanov (1939), Hydraulic Apparatus for Engineering Computations, (Translation) MIT, US Army Corps of Engineers - New England Division, Arctic Construction and Frost Effects Laboratory (1955)

[15]  H. P. Aldrich, H. M. Paynter (1953), Analytical Studies of Freezing and Thawing of Soils, US Army Corps of Engineers - New England Division, Artic Construction and Frost Effects Research Laboratory, Massechusets Institute of Technology - Department of Civil and Sanitary Engineering, Report No. 42

[16]  H. P. Aldrich, R. F. Scott, G. L. Leung, R. S. Nordal (1956), Design and Operation of an Hydraulic Analog Computer for Studies of Freezing and Thawing of Soils, US Army Corps of Engineers - New England Division, Artic Construction and Frost Effects Research Laboratory, Massechusets Institute of Technology - Department of Civil and Sanitary Engineering, Report No. 62

[17]  R. F. Scott (1961), Heat Transfer at the Air-Ground Interface with Special Refernce to Airfield Pavements, US Army Corps of Engineers - New England Division, Artic Construction and Frost Effects Research Laboratory, Massechusets Institute of Technology - Department of Civil and Sanitary Engineering, Report No. 63

[18]  H. P. Aldrich, R. S. Nordal (1957) Frost Penetration in Multi-Layer Soil Profiles, US Army Corps of Engineers - New England Division, Artic Construction and Frost Effects Research Laboratory, Massechusets Institute of Technology - Department of Civil and Sanitary Engineering, Report No. 67

[19] R. Hawk, W. Lamb (1963), Hydraulic Analog Study of Periodic Heat Flow in Typical Building Walls, US Army Materiel Command, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Report No. 135

[20]  H. P. Aldrich (1951), Analysis of Foundation Stresses and Settlements at Hayden Library, Mass. Inst. of Technology, Sc. D. Thesis

[21]  A. C. Rigas (1951), The Consolidation Analogy Model, Mass. Inst. of Technology, S. B. Thesis

[22]  A. Polansky, M. Hruby (1957) Hydromechanical Model, US 2903186

[23]  Scholer (1962), An Analog Computer for the Solution of Drainage Problems, Proceedings of the First Australasian Conference Held at the University of Western Australia, pp. 319-333

[24]  V. Nourani (2014), Liquid Analog Circuits for Laboratory Simulation of Steady-State Seepage, Journal of Environmental Hydrology, Vol. 22, Paper 2, pp. 1-15

[25]  V. Nourani (2006), Laboratory Simulation of a Geomorphological Runoff Routing Model Using Liquid Analog Circuits, Journal of Environmental Hydrology, Vol. 14, Paper 1, pp. 1-19

[26]  P. Monadjemi (2001), Multi-Purpose Fluid Analog Computer, US 5223140

Sources of Images

[1] [p. 487]  W. A. Price, (1900), Petrovitch’s Apparatus for integrating Differential Equations of the First Order, The London,
      Dublin, and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Taylor & Francis
, 1900, Vol. 49

[10] [p. 281]  V. S. Lukyanov (1963), Computation of the Depth of the Freezing and Thawing in Soils, Proceedings of the Permafrost International Conference, National Academy of Sciences

[11] [p. 706]  A. D. Moore (1936), The Hydrocal, A Hydrodynamic Calculating Machine for Solving Unsteady-State Problems in Heat Transfer and Other Types of Diffusion, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Vol. 28, No. 6.

[16] [p. 62] H. P. Aldrich, R. F. Scott, G. L. Leung, R. S. Nordal (1956), Design and Operation of an Hydraulic Analog Computer for Studies of Freezing and Thawing of Soils, US Army Corps of Engineers - New England Division, Artic Construction and Frost Effects Research Laboratory, Massechusets Institute of Technology - Department of Civil and Sanitary Engineering, Report No. 62

Copyright 2016 Michael Tibor Sipos, All Rights Reserved


NOFA NJ Presentation of the Hydrautomat


NOFA NJ Presentation of the Hydrautomat

I was looking through my posts on, and I just realized that I forgot to make a post of the Hydrautomat's Presentation at the NOFA NJ Open House event at Duke Farms on October 11th, 2014.

The event was a great success, I met many different people who were into alternative/organic agriculture and developing newer, more sustainable methods of farming. It's always nice to meet people with new and amazing ideas for making a better, more sustainable world.

The presentation itself went very well, I was able to explain what the Hydrautomat was, how it worked, what it could be used for, and how it could be modified and improved upon. I also gave a demonstration of the device for the attendees.

I would like to give a special thanks to Sister Marie Brigante and Professor Antonella Pompo for attending the event. It was great to for you to come to the presentation.

I would also like to give a special thanks to Justine Cook and Erica Evans for letting me know about the NOFA NJ Open House event and arranging for me to be one of the speakers at the event.


Toastmasters @ RVCC Event


Toastmasters @ RVCC Event

The Toastmasters @RVCC Event went wonderfully this Monday (November 24th), and I'm very happy to know that the entire event went smoothly without any major issues.

For those who don't know: the Toastmasters @RVCC Event was an event, sponsored by the RVCC Engineering Club, that brought the public speaking club Toastmasters International to Raritan Valley Community College. The event was essentially a Toastmasters meeting, hosted by the Hunterdon Speak Easy Club chapter of Toastmaster International, that would give students an idea of what a Toastmasters meeting was like and what Toastmasters International had to offer for students in their academic and professional careers.

You can find the video of the event here:

The Record, the college newspaper, also wrote an article on this event, which can be found here:

I was the coordinator for the event (from getting approval for the event, to making the arrangements), which was a challenging task when coordinating between multiple organizations to get everything to come together into a single harmonious event (this was the first time I have ever been a coordinator). But the hard work paid off and the event went beautifully.

I'd like to give a Special Thanks to Barbara Smith, Eva Lesniak, and all of those from the Hunterdon Speak Easy Club for all your help with setting up the meeting and giving suggestions for the event. I'd also like to thank Alysha Walker and the rest of RVCC Student Life for all of your help with arranging the facilities, equipment, and catering needed for the event to be a success. And lastly I'd like to thank the Engineering Club for helping to promote and sponsor the event.

Thank you everyone.



Radio Interview with Rich Kazmir about the Hydrautomat on WDVRFM

Here's a podcast of me being interviewed by Rich Kazmir on his show Technology Today on WDVRFM on August 5th. In the interview, I explain what the Hydrautomat is, how it works, and how it can be modified for different applications in the modern world.


Here's a link to Rich's show:

WDVRFM - Technology Today by Rich Kazmir

The Podcast of the interview has been posted on the Files page (the original link can be found here)


Update: Working on the Coastal Hydrautomat


Update: Working on the Coastal Hydrautomat

It's been a long time since my last post, so I decided I should post an update on what I've been working on:

As you can see in the above video, I have been at work making a prototype for the Coastal Hydrautomat, which is a Hydrautomat that derives its power from the waves of the ocean, rather than from the force of falling water.

The prototype is very simple, with only a single Closed Tank/Pumping Tank, an open bottom container as the Operating Tank, and some check valves. The device's main purpose is to get an idea of what will be need to be kept in mind for a more advanced version.

The prototype lacks a second pair of open and closed tanks, and is not capable of adapting to the fluctuation of the tides. But I believe these things will need to be worked out at a later time. Right now, the behaviour of the waves and how they affect the performance of the pumping tank, as well as the conditions of the marine environment, are the most important factors to be dealt with.

The device is very simple and can be used to pump seawater or a multitude of other fluids for various purposes (some of which can be seen here).

I will be working out on the finishing touches of the device before testing it. As well as finding a good place to test it (where there aren't hordes of people around, as right now we're in the middle of beach season here in New Jersey).

I'll try to keep everyone more posted on this blog and other accounts, such as my BlueJersey112 YouTube Channel.



Things That Should Have Been Invented 1000 to 4000 Years Ago

Hello Everyone!

Every so often I hear someone say the cliche phrase "If it's so great and wonderful, why hasn't someone already invented it yet?", and when I hear that phrase, I can't help but think of the fact that the things we have are only there because one or several people had tirelessly worked to conceptualize, design, prototype, test, (possible re-build/adjust and re-test), manufacture, distribute, market, and sell them. It's a very long and tiresome process that continues to mitigate even the best solutions from being bought and implemented. There's a lot of toil, politics, resource acquisition/management, teamwork, and other things that need to be gone through before even the simplest things can hope to find themselves in the service of others.

Anyway, here are some inventions which are so simple that some of the earliest civilizations should have invented them long ago:

1. The Pulser Pump - Probably one of the simplest water pumps that mankind has ever made. The pump was invented in 1989 by Brian White. The device uses buoyancy, air, and water to lift water many times higher than from where it fell from.

2. The Hydrautomat - The Hydrautomat is a device that uses air and water pressure to lift water. The device is similar to Hero's Fountain, but it can actually drain and refill itself: lifting water each time it drains or fills).

3. The Fluidyne - The Fluidyne is a device that uses a difference in temperature to cause the fluid inside of it to oscillate. These oscillations can then be used to pump water, compress air, or another purpose.


Tour of Conoco Phillips Bayway 66 Refinery


Tour of Conoco Phillips Bayway 66 Refinery

The Engineering Club's trip to the Conoco Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery was a very fun and informative event. We had the privilege of getting to meet accomplished engineers in their fields, get advice, see a part of the gigantic Bayway complex (which is beyond huge), and get a better understanding of how engineering plays an important roll in the workplace.

In some ways, the trip itself was entertaining. From the rickety, near dereliction school bus that had a window with a broken latch (which would cause it to rattle so loud that we couldn't hear ourselves think) and another window that was being held up with packaging tape,  to the lack of specific information as to where the parking was for the bus (which at one point got the bus stuck in front of a roadblock in front of the refinery office). But we eventually got to where we needed to go.

When we reached the first checkpoint, we encountered one of the single-most unforgettable and hilarious events of the tour: our chance meeting with Samuel Jackson, the eagle-eyed, tough-talking, security guard who had a penchant for threatening to beat people with his flash-light (Yep).

This story all began when the guard was going over the attendance list for the group and the President forgot to cross out one person who didn't show up. The security guard then told him "Don't make me beat you with my flashlight", which had us laughing. Someone then asked the guard what his name was, he replied "Samuel Jackson", which was pretty hilarious. We were eventually let through.

We finally found out where to go and parked near the main building, where we were greeted by two engineers from the refinery, who led us inside of the building and briefed us on the refinery's operations, products, logistics, and statistics of how much the refinery put out typically (the Bayway 66 refinery supplies over half of the gasoline in New Jersey for instance). After the amazing introduction, where we were shown small samples of some of the products that they made, we set out to take a tour of the actual refinery.

As we drove into the refinery, we were informed that the refinery was virtually a self-sustaining facility, in the sense that the refinery had its own fire department, cafeteria, fitness center, and everything that it needed to function in a stand-alone situation if a something happened (like Hurricane Sandy).

We then got back to the checkpoint that we first went to when we got lost, and ran into Samuel Jackson again. Except he now gave the engineers (who were our tour guides) a hard time (for fun of course), having one engineer get off the bus and catch up with the bus at the second checkpoint.

This was where we found out that the Bayway complex actually had several different companies operating within it (like BP), who paid to be on the property but had full control over their facilities and were independent of Conoco Phillips. It was pretty interesting to be going through the facility and seeing different companies at the same location (didn't expect that).

The refinery was beyond huge (literally, terms like huge and gigantic don't describe the scale of this place), all of the structures, pipeline networks and everything was absolutely massive. The whole refinery was incredible in just how large it was.

We got to see one of the docking stations where an oil tanker was docked, the catalytic cracking unit, an incredible amount of pipelines, and the control room. The control room was where we were actually allowed to stop and get out to go inside. The control room (one of them anyway) was pretty amazing. The room was filled with hemispherical arrays of computer monitors with people stationed at them, and we actually got to meet two of the guys who were at one of these stations.

After the tour, we then went back to the main building and were greeted by the engineers who worked at the refinery, who told us their stories, gave advice, and answered questions that we had about engineering. We also were provided with a free lunch (which was nice). After the questions, everyone gathered together for a group photo and then said goodbye.

All in all it was a fun and interesting trip.


Interesting Things In The World of Fluids


Interesting Things In The World of Fluids

Here's a list of strange and very intriguing devices and phenomena that people have created or come across. It should definitely serve as food for thought when it comes to fluids. (I say fluids because mechanics, chemistry, thermodynamics, and other sciences are involved.)

Balloon Oscillator


Pneumatic Oscillator (Feedback-Driven)


Toricelli Oscillator


Multi-Stage Ammonia Fountain


The RVCC Poster Session


The RVCC Poster Session

The RVCC Poster Session last week was an awesome event! With attendees, poster projects, professors, and familiar faces, everything went quite well.

Before the event, I met some of the other officers from the RVCC Engineering Club (I'm the Project Manager for the club), who were very eager to see the Hydrautomat in action. So I and the Treasurer set out in search for a water emitting receptacle (faucet) that could actually fit over the small 10 inch container, which proved to be an elusive find. After searching around, we eventually went to the pool to see if they had a garden hose that we could use. And lo! we found a decent water source for the container! So, under the strange ambience of Pandora-supplied Beach Boys music, we finally got enough water to start the device.

After the Hydrautomat was finally filled with about one and a half gallons of water with some blue food dye mixed in: I started the device by admitting water into the Operating Tank until the Siphon started running over. After the air bubbles in the Siphon were expelled via tapping the hose and moving it back and forth (there's a bit of a process involved when the tube exceeds 1/4" ID), the Siphon started flowing perfectly. The valve to the tube supplying water to the Operating Tank was then closed, and behold: the d**n check valve ruptured (again)! (Sigh) But this issue was quickly resolved with a little backyard ingenuity by kinking the dis-functional outlet tube and screwing a hose clamp around it.

After this, the Hydrautomat worked beautifully. Pulling water up the input tube as if it were like a secondary gravitational force inside of the closed tank had started sucking water up toward itself. The Treasurer and other Project Manager were pretty amazed by the device.

During the Poster session, many people came by to see the various posters that people had set up. There were probably 30-40 posters in the whole atrium (maybe even 50), but only 4-5 tables had an exhibit that people could see or interact with. Personally, I think the Hydrautomat, Trubechet (from the Engineering Club's Catapult Competition), and Autonomous Car (RVCC Math Club) were the best out all of these.

There were a lot of people who were intrigued by the peculiar towering device, and some had  mused at the device when I had demonstrated its operation, still trying to wrap their heads around how the device worked even with an explanation (The device is definitely perplexing at first, but is easy to understand after awhile). Many professors, students, and faculty were interested in the device, and thought it was very interesting.

After the Poster Session, I disassembled the Hydrautomat, put it back in my car, and got to see the Trubechet tested before we carried it back to the Project Manager's SUV.

All in all the Poster Session turned out to be a great event, with amazed faces and positive feedback.

Here's a short video of the Poster Session