Artist Bruce Shapiro has been experimenting with computerized motion control for about 25 years and specializes in making devices that could be seen as modern day Zen sand gardens. He calls his inventions ‘Sisyphus Machines’ which are shallow trays filled with sand, a metal ball, and underside robotics. The mechanism under the tray moves the metal balls in intricate patterns using magnets, resulting in mandala-like patterns carved in the sand.
His impressive machines have been installed publicly around the world including Switzerland and Australia, but a tabletop consumer version is in the works. If you are interested in owning one join Shapiro’s mailing list here.