Sediment Machine

Justine Holzman, Bradley Cantrell, and David Merlin conducted a four day workshop for Dredgefest Louisana, a week long symposium with field trips curated by the Dredge Research Collaborative.

Southern Louisiana is in a land loss crisis. Sediment diversions, reconnecting the river to the delta offers the fastest and most cost effective method for land building throughout the delta. The workshop focused on utilizing responsive technologies to control devices within a water table for simulating sediment manipulation. Participants had access to a working 7’x3.5’ physical water table designed by Justine Holzman and Bradley Cantrell for running simulations with water, sand, and walnut shells. The water table was built to accommodate responsive technologies in the form of arduino boards, small robotic parts, and fabricated components. The water table is designed to run with and without the devices. The devices will be operated and actuated by a script reading values with a Kinect in real-time from the water table for live monitoring monitoring, establishing feedback loops, and actuation.

Over 3 days, the participants were asked to build a device, develop a speculative strategy for large-scale sediment manipulation (such as land-building) through controlled devices, with specific rules driving the manipulation. Through observations and the data collected from the Kinect, they developed a feedback loop to govern the rules of the designed system through methods of monitoring, sensing, and actuation of the device.