Drawing messages on the sand is perhaps as old as history itself, but Ivan Miranda has come up with a tracked vehicle to automate this ephemeral art form. In fact, what’s seen in the video below is his second take on a sand drawing robot, boasting a much faster print speed than his 2018 version with the caveat that it prints with less contrast.
The new device features 50 SG90 micro servos spread out across a piece of square tubing, controlled by a total of three Arduino Mega boards. These intermittently extend as they’re pulled forward by a tread system on each side to produce words. The build is so long that he has to actually extend his workbench to get it to fit, and at a weight of 13.5 kilograms (around 30 pounds) without the battery, he created a custom trailer assembly to walk it to the beach.
For his initial test at around the 11:00 mark, he apparently tries to spell out “MAKE SOMETHING,” but doesn’t have things spaced out enough. As he forgot his programming cable, this meant a trip back to the shop. He then makes an attempt at text output, including printing the word “SPACERS!!!,” which seems appropriate after his problem on the first try.
It’s a certainly a fun project, and seeing the servos extend down to carve tiny trenches in the sand is especially neat.