Disney Builds Robot To Draw Massive Pictures Onto The Beach
We have seen robots fight, play football and do a whole lot of other stuff before. We have also seen them making pictures and drawings etc. However, Disney’s new robot takes drawings to a whole new level.
The robotic artist creates massive drawings on beaches with tremendous precision. Someone who is unaware of the fact that these drawings are created by a robot called “Beachbot,” most probably will consider them as a sign of alien existence.
The robot was created by a highly talented team of engineers at Disney Research labs and Swiss engineering school ETH Zurich. Paul Beardsley, who is a part of the team behind this robot, said he wanted to create a robot that will keep making amazing works of art on its own.
For this purpose, he chose sand instead of paint: “Sand drawing is perfect because it’s an infinitely reusable canvas,” he explains.
The bot carries a Wi-Fi computer, an inertial measurement unit, along with a laser scanner which helps it detect 4 poles located on the beach, which act as the boundaries of the canvas. Whereas, the IMU units help it navigate.
The Beachbot currently operates on a 10 meter-by-10 meter canvas but according to Beardsley: “In principle we can scale up to kilometer long drawings that extend all along a beach. The dream is to create huge amazing drawings like the Nazca Lines.
The team is planning to add various tools to the Beachbot, to help it use a variety of textures, remove previous lines and more.
Making a machine like this wasn’t an easy task as the team tested many different drawing tool before finally agreeing upon the rake mechanism.
The bot uses prongs that are individually controlled and allow it to create thick or thin lines on the beach. They also tested various types of wheels, looking for a type of design that wouldn’t leave noticeable tracks on the sand.
But transferring a picture into a trajectory was biggest hurdle of this project. The bot is automated but not completely, for big drawings, the path still needs to be adjusted manually. However, the team is working on algorithms that will completely automate the Beachbot.
Via: IEEE Spectrum