Examining a Peristaltic Pump Inside a Bubble-Blowing Toy

Nava Whiteford details what’s going on with a peristaltic pump inside a $6 bubble-blowing toy. The toy’s transparent holster allows the toy to be scrutinized without having to teardown or take apart the toy.


What particularly interested me was that it uses a peristaltic pump to push the soap mix toward what I call the “bubble formation aperture”. I’ve been reading about peristaltic pumps recently because they’re often used to deliver accurate volumes of liquid for scientific and medical applications.

The pump is named after the contractions the intestine makes to push food through your digestive tract and it operates in the same way. The gif to the left (shamelessly stolen from the wikipedia page), shows how fluid is pushed along.

This toy uses this exact mechanism, because it’s transparent you can see the pump operating without taking the toy apart which is also pretty neat and a nice learning aid. The gif below shows the toy operating and you can clearly see the pump working away.


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