While it may not be as cool as that soccer ball droid for the Star Wars Episode 7 trailer, the Beachbot is pretty nifty in itsown right. It’s a robot turtle developed by Disney Research that can scamper along the beach, drawing large designs in the sand.

It works like so: the researchers set up a “canvas” by placing four poles, one at each corner of an area no bigger than ten meters by ten meters. The Beachbot then uses the laser scanner on its onboard computer to detect the poles, so that it stays in the designated area while using the rake attached to its body to draw the assigned picture.

Thereare stillkinks to work out, but it is functional, which you see in the video below. The researchers are not only working to iron out all the hiccups but they also want to expand its operable area so that the Beachbot can eventually carve out designs that encompass entire shorelines.

There’s something oddly refreshing about seeing a new piece of technology that isn’t trying to fix an existing problem or make some facet of our lives easier, but rather just trying to make the world a more fun place to live. Fun is good. Now where’s my beach ball droid, Disney?

via Engadget

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