If you're looking to advertise at the beach but all the planes have been booked, or you're stranded on a desert island, Ivan Miranda has a new robot for you. His sand drawing robot can print any sort of text on the beach. It's a strong improvement over a finger in the sand.
The text looks a lot like a dot matrix format from the 60s and 70s, and that's for a good reason. Miranda is using a large linear actuator on large wheels, slowly moving one column at a time. It writes vertically, making indentations in the sand with a marker that drops up and picks up to fit each letter. The skinny columns give each letter maximum visibility.
The trade off is speed. Much of the video is spent on fast forward, speeding up what appears to be a time consuming process. That could present some trouble on a beach, where wind (or other beachgoers) might erase a message before its written.
But as Miranda says in the video, this is his first real trial with the sand writing bot. Now that the first iteration is finished, speed can come with future models.
At a time where fewer and fewer people handwrite, robots are becoming experts.
Source: Ivan Miranda via Gizmodo