Is it time to feed the fish? Or time to adjust the water temp? A cute little concept design by Huiling Li of Shenzhen, China, puts bubble-powered kinetic energy to work in displaying such key information, making fish-care easier and more convenient.
The My Little Dolphin design makes use of a little blue plastic submersible in the form of a fish, which fits neatly over the oxygen machine that feeds bubbles into the fish tank. A water-wheel type mechanism inside the Dolphin turns, generating electricity, which is then used to power a clock and temperature gauge.
The charm here is that the device makes use of mechanical energy that would otherwise be wasted. We think it could even be better if the motion of the rising bubbles were actually used to power the oxygen machine itself–which is, after all, essential to the functioning of a fish-tank (unlike with the temperature and time).
Then again, if My Little Dolphin put a clock in the room out of commission, perhaps it would actually be saving energy, rather than just making use of what we’d otherwise waste.