Sunday, June 18, 2017

Oh, patents! – Crystal Fountains at Gae Aulenti Piazza

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

The animated fountain plumes that dance around Piazza Gae Aulenti*, in the center of Milan, Italy, are patented!  These geyserlike fountains shoot water jets in the air during the day, and provide an attractive light show at night.

Indeed, these are Crystal Fountains, produced and manufactured by a Canadian company called Crystal Fountains that seriously specializes in interactive fountain systems. The company produces and programs stunning, commercial, institutional and residential water flow and display, coupled with LED color lighting and music. Arching jets, leapers, laminars, waterfalls, connected to LED lights and programmed in complex sequences using specialized nozzles for special flow effects, together provide dramatic and award-winning water and light experiences.  

The 2017 US patent application US2017014850 titled Articulated nozzle and water display system and method discloses the arching water jet technology. The novel articulated nozzle enables a bendable fluid flow path and to control the bendable fluid path both relative to itself and to other nozzles. The many different aspects of the invention include, for example, sensors for tracking nozzle movement, or connectors connecting the nozzle to at least three driving mechanisms, The driving mechanisms for position, velocity and acceleration of the fluid flow path, are respectively informed in part by the magnetometer, gyroscope and accelerometer sensor readings.  The invention also claims the method for displaying the countless bendable fluid paths, seen in spectacular shows.

The Abstract of the invention is included below with one of the patent nozzle drawings.
A system and method for producing a fluid display are provided. The method and system involve providing a bendable fluid flow path, the bendable fluid flow path i) having a central axis, ii) being bendable such that the central axis is bendable to define curves in non-parallel planes at different portions along a bendable portion of the bendable fluid flow path, and iii) having an upstream end and a downstream end. Fluid from the downstream end of the bendable fluid flow path can be provided to a nozzle from which the fluid flow can exit in a fluid flow path direction.

Gae Aulenti Archives
Crystal Fountains 
Cesar Pelli

*NB. Piazza Gae Aulenti was built by Cesar Pelli, an Argentine architect and dedicated to Gae Aulenti

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