Building sand castles is one way to enjoy a day at the beach, but a team from ETH Zurich, along with the Zurich division of Disney Research, have come up with a much more high-tech version. Beachbot draws elaborate images on the sand using a rake attached to its body that exerts various degrees of pressure. It’s doodle skills are by no means perfect yet, but the little robot can already recreate that cute little fish in Finding Nemo. Your children and/or smaller relatives will be delighted.

For the researchers, the first challenge in the turtle shaped robot’s development was the writing of an algorithm that could translate images into trajectories for the robot to follow. Its human guides are still required to plant four poles around a 10 x 10 meter area, and add the finishing touches to larger pieces, but the eventual aim is for Beachbot to be completely independent.

Disney Beach Bot