Introduction: Parcours Feau'lies: NumerO - River Frisbee

Why we make this project?

We are a group of diverse group participating in the Aquathon 1 in Paris, which is a 7 day hackathon about Ocean and River. Here in Paris, citizens come together to brainstorm, design and build something to improve the canal in 7 days, At the last day, we will also put our final prototype in water to test and collect feedbacks from citizens.

Building new relationship with our river

For our team, our theme is education about the canal. We found that most people live in Paris think the river is not clean and it's just mainly for transportation. Actually we think our river has much more meaning to us. So we came up with an idea of "Water Playground" which people start to build more close relationship with their river through play. To build something to start the conversation with public, we decided to build a prototype addressing the problem of "Collect solid waste from canal in a playful way".

This project was realized by Lysiane Lagadic, Elodie Coquillat, Auriane Dumesnil, Djibril and Maria Li Lok Yee as part of the #Fleuve Aquathon in Paris . The week-long event was organized by the CRI (Interdisciplinary Research Center)in partnership with Villette Makerz , MakerBay (Hong Kong), Scoutbots (Hong Kong), Ifremer , Astrolabe Expeditions , the City Council of the 10th Arrondissement , IUEM and the Open Factory of the University of Western Brittany , Eau de Paris , Oceanographic Institute ,The Residence of Water . Many thanks to Mihaela Lordache and Lee from Cafe Belleville 14 rue Lally Tollendal, 75019 Paris, for giving us coffee bags for this project.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


  • PVC pipes x 4
  • 90 degree PVC connector x 1
  • T shape PVC joint x 1
  • Hook x 1
  • 15m Rope x 1
  • 10mm plywood x 1
  • Nut and bolts x 4
  • Washer (as weight)
  • mesh x 1
  • White spray paint
  • Red spray paint
  • 4mm Stainless steel rod x 1


  • Laser cutter
  • Circular saw
  • Iron/ Heat press transfer machine
  • Drill

Step 2: Making First Prototype

We made a 2.5m long wooden stick with one end attaching a mesh found in kitchen and test in water, but the stick is too heavy and still not long enough to reach the waste further away from the canal bank. So we think of another way to collect the waste.

Our second idea get inspiration from frisbee.

Step 3: Prototype 2 - Styrofoam Frisbee

We found that Frisbee is more fun and we also put some metal structure to the loop to catch the trash back to player, yet it doesn't work really well. The trash will escape from the bottom.

When we are doing the testing, a father and his daughter are curious. We invite them to try with our prototype. And the father went crazy x) He shows us how he play in a cowboy way. That is fascinating.

Step 4: Prototype 2 - Build App Mockup

In order to give more satisfaction and encouragement to the players who caught trash, we designed an app to let players input their result (how many and the type of trash they collected) to an open-source database and display on an Map online.

Citizens can check the water quality of the canal/ river in this map, in which other players can add data about pH, NO3 concentration, turbidity etc.

Also, you can find educational information about environmental issues related to water after the game.

You can try the app mock up Here :D

Step 5: Prototype 3 - Add a Net to Our "Frisbee"

As we want to simplify our play. We add a net to our frisbee, so players do not need to use the long stick to pick up trash.

  1. Stitch a net around the loop
  2. Add 3 ropes
  3. Add washer as weight on one side

Then we test our third prototype in water.

Step 6: Prototype 3 - Building the Play Station

  • We spray paint the PVC pipes in white and red
  • We make a loop for the Collection Bin using stainless steel rod
  • Add the hook for holding the frisbee
  • Also a heavy wooden base for the playstation

Step 7: Prototype 3 - Heat Press to Shape Mesh

We cut the mesh into a circle then heat press it with the heat press machine. After that, we can shape it easily.

Step 8: Prototype 3 - Laser Cut Frisbee Loop

Our frisbee has 3 layers, the weight is embedded in the middle layer.

We use nut and bolts to fasten the 3 layers together.

On day 5, we invite a speaker to listen to our presentation and he gave the following feedback to us:

- the laser cut loop version doesn't work very well, so the user experience is not perfect.

- Will revert to previous version: a frisbee loop + a net stick

- Talk more about the education part as people cannot make a connection between the river and climate change/ impact on environment

Step 9: Prototype 4 - We Go Back to Our Prototype 2 :D

As our prototype 3 frisbee does not work very well, so we try to cut the mesh into half (like prototype 2) to make a shield for carrying trash back. And it works!

Step 10: Time to Invite the Public for Feedback!


The Canal Saint Martin

Our Poster:

Our observations:

- kids love the game, 1 boy plays for ~1 hour and still get engaged

- But one possible problem is the kids not necessary has smartphone and scan the QR code to put data in the map

- We found that when we play the frisbee, people will come to watch and want to try playing, but when we stand away from the playstation without demo, people will come to have a look and walk away. It is possible that our playstation design does not give enough hint to people that they can actually play with it.

- One couple came by and said "- Is this installation permanent? It is meaningful!" after listening to our short presentation and play with it

Further development:

- Putting a touch screen display for people to enter data, view the education information and citizen science water map

- building the functional web app for citizen science water map

- building prototype of other playstation

You can also found the documentation of other Aquathon 1 projects in the following instructables:

== Grand Bain #Art == Editor by Sophie

== Parcours-Feaulies #Play == Editor by Maria Lok Yee Li

== Art Floral Flottant #Urban Design == Editor by Cesar

== Labo D'eau Douce #Science == Editor by Cedric