Sandy Poems Drawn by a Robot Named Skryf

If you were lucky at the 2015 World Maker Faire you may have stumbled upon strange writings of poetry on the ground — written in sand.  While at first confusing, if you followed the poetry along you also caught a glimpse of Skryf, a draw bot by [Gijs van Bon].

skryf-drawbot-thumbThe creator was asked to perform poems for a festival about transition and letting go. Naturally, building a robot to write poetry in sand was the downright obvious answer to the question.

I was asked to perform 40 poems during a 10 day festival, and the poems were about transition and letting go. And then I thought the obvious thing to do as an artist is to make a machine that writes those poems with sand. I started writing them, and when the third poem was written, the first one was completely gone, and it was such a beautiful thing.

The robot uses a laptop for input, which is connected to the bicycle carriage. One servo controls the left-to-right movement, and another releases the sand. Forward and back is controlled by the main drive train, which must have been fun to account for (they aren’t servos!)

For a slightly more permanent poem, there’s always the chalk-draw-bot — or the ill-advised graffiti robot. There was tons of other cool stuff at World Maker Faire 2015, and our very own [Adam Fabio] took a lot of coverage!

[via Make]

14 thoughts on “Sandy Poems Drawn by a Robot Named Skryf

  1. Beautiful thing for sure! The engineer in me wants to replace one sand jet with a row of 7 – to print a line at once with HD44780 5×7 font in a dot-matrix fashion, which could be a lot faster. The letter quality however certainly justifies the use of XY mechanism.
    As a (motor-)cyclist, the mere thought o sand on the road makes me cringe (just a little).

    1. what about a 7-row unit that moves side-to-side a couple inches to make smooth vertical lines? or maybe a staggered pair of 7-row units so one pair fills in the blanks for the other unit?

    1. The seniors at my school used this technique to draw a huge penis on our school oval last year, just before they graduated. It took the school ages to fix it because the first time they replaced the turf it died again, and then they overcompensated with fertiliser so the outline turned bright green.

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