By Tim Callaway
Disney Research and a team of students from ETH Zurich have crafted this nifty little robot that etches large scale drawings in sand. It draws the image via a programmable rake at the rear of the bot. The pins of the rake can be raised and lowered to adjust the width of line. The bot also uses white stakes planted in the ground around the sand canvas as reference points to assist with navigation. An image can be pre-programmed into the bot or it can be operated manually. The bot traverses the sand on soft "balloon wheels" to keep it from making unnecessary impressions in the sand that screw up the picture.
The result: really cool geometric shapes in the sand, and being Disney, Mickey Mouse, Simba and Nemo.
Sign me up. Where can I get one?
I suppose I should move to the beach first.