Disney's Beachbot etches art into the sand

The Beachbot has so far been used to create sand portraits of Mickey Mouse, Simba and Nemo.

By Ben Hooper
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ZURICH, Switzerland, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Engineers with Disney and a Swiss university have unveiled the Beachbot, a turtle-shaped robot that etches drawings in the sand without a human pilot.

The Beachbot, developed by engineers with Disney Research Zurich and ETH Zurich, uses a mechanized rake built into its rear to create 33-foot by 33-foot beach drawings while rolling around on wheels designed to leave minimal art-ruining tire tracks.


The robot uses a laser scanner to detect the position of reflective poles that mark the borders of its drawing area and can draw without a pilot when images are programmed into its software. The robot turtle can also be remote controlled for a free-drawing mode.

The developers released a video showing the Beachbot creating works of sand art including Micky Mouse, Simba from The Lion King, a turtle and the titular fish from Finding Nemo.


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