Co-developed by Disney Research and a student team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Beachbot is an autonomous robot with a rather special talent; it can draw massive pictures in sand.
That's just about it really, but the end results can be spectacular. And the little robot itself looks like it's come straight out of a Disney family film.
The Beachbot's wheels are effectively balloons, which don't leave much in the way of track marks in the sand. A rake on the rear is then lifted and lowered as the robot makes its way around a 10 x 10m "canvas" (marked by four corner poles) to leave more distinct impressions on the surface. These can then be seen as large pieces of art from a lofted position.
The rake can also be lowered in sections to create thinner or thicker lines, thus giving an artist controller more freedom for design.
Artwork can be preprogrammed into the Beachbot or the device can be manually controlled to turn the sand into a live sketchpad.
The team wants to move up in scale to create enormous artworks in the future, while there's no word on what might become of the current wee Beachbot. What's the betting on a starring role in Art Attack on the Disney Channel some time soon?
At internetmatters.org parents can find all the advice they will need to keep their children safe online. Designed specifically for parents, the site offers a wealth of up-to-date, unbiased information and advice about how to deal with online safety. Parents can learn about the latest issues and technologies, get great tips on how to talk about online safety with their children and get the best advice on dealing with issues and taking action. Created with experts, Internet Matters provides detailed information, but also signposts to best-in-class resources from individual expert organisations. Our goal is to ensure parents can always access the information that they need, in a format that is clear and concise.