Disney Research Zurich in collaboration with ETH Zurich have designed a robot called Beachbot that has the potential of carving impeccable huge sand drawings.
Equipped with wi-fi computer, an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and laser scanner, the Beachbot walks effortlessly on sand making paintings. Laser scanner helps it to restrict its canvas boundaries within four poles mounted alongside the area. It also uses laser data and the IMU for its own location while it steers with millimeter accuracy inside the restricted area.
Building rake mechanism that would compliment drawing tool for machine had its own huddles so the team decided to work with individually controlled prongs, which could be maneuvered singly to create lines (thick and thin) on sand. But this wasn’t the toughest part, problem lied with developing algorithms for transforming picture into trajectory that the bot could steer. Currently for gigantic art pieces, the trajectory has to be adjusted manually but the team envisions overcoming the automatic process by bestowing higher computational powers to the machine for corresponding trajectory. That of course would cross the existing limitation of 10-meter-by-10-meter-canvases.
Beardsley one of the lead researcher said that by the principle of scaling up in terms of canvas area, they’d like to reach somewhere near Nazca Lines with their beachbot.