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Create mesmerizing designs in the sand with this Arduino-controlled Zen table!

Arduino TeamDecember 27th, 2018

A sandbox game generally refers to an open world computer simulation, but Tim Callinan’s fall semester project takes things in a different direction—an actual sandbox controlled by an Arduino and gShield.

Callinan’s Zen table is capable of producing complicated designs in the sand, using a single steel marble that appears to magically move across the surface by itself.

Underneath the sand assembly is a stepper-controlled gantry that acts like a laser cutter or other CNC tool, dragging the marble around with a powerful magnet. The results are stars, rotating squares, and other kaleidoscopic patterns, beautifully edge-lit with a series of RGB LEDs.

Several other classmates were involved in making this build a reality, including Mark Morello, who wired and programmed the device.