Childhood summers are all about blowing iridescent soap bubbles out of plastic wands. It seems like a short-lived activity, but somehow it provides endless fascination. Involving an Arduino and some stepper motors might seem like overkill, but these parabolic bubbles are pretty mesmerising.
Felix Worseck from the Berlin University of the Arts created Parabolic Soap to look at the behaviour of bubbles and attempt to mechanically create a paraboloid surface. It's actually sort of dramatic when the machine pulls a bubble away from the soapy mass of water and you can see it detach from the surface. The motors move randomly based on a program that assigns random height values to the axes, so each bubble is different.
Time to embrace the summer traditions of making soap bubbles and forgetting everything you ever knew about maths. [Creative Applications]