Imagine a Japanese zen garden built into a glass-covered picture frame. Below the frame are electronics and robotics, creating geometric patterns and images in the sand. The effect is enchanting and magical, it is really zen-like to see ever-changing patterns and images slowly appear in the sand.
The Sand Art Display is a modern version of this traditional zen sand garden. It is a drawing machine that creates mandala-like patterns in the sand. The operation of this display is as follows: under the glass top is a thin layer of sand, under thes and a twin-engine robot moves a strong magnet to steer a steel ball through the sand. The robot is controlled by an Arduino mini computer playing a pattern program, similar to the way a music player plays MP3 songs. The table calibrates itself when plugged in and after this calibration a number of pre-programmed patterns can be selected using the push buttons.