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Disney Robot Transforms Beach Into Giant Etch-A-Sketch

Jan 13, 2015
Disney creates more than just animated characters and wild rides for theme parks. And in this case, Wall-E might not be that far off from real-life. The BeachBot is an autonomous robot that creates large-scale sand art. The bot carves images into sand with a rake using seven individual mobile elements, which are attached to the tail allowing for different depths and widths of lines.

In close collaboration with Disney Research Zurich and a student team at ETH Zurich, Disney Research conceived the BeachBot idea and put it to work. ETH Zurich is a university setting that offers a course called Focus Projects, which allows students to deepen their knowledge in a problem-based environment. Over two semesters, seven mechanical engineers and one electrical engineer worked to create the Beachbot, along with two industrial designers to create a friendly-looking mechanical being.
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