In a large warehouse in Northeast Minneapolis, there are numerous side and coffee tables filled with sand. In the sand is a small steel ball, slowly rolling to form symmetrical and intricate patterns. These are kinetic art tables better known as Sisyphus.
In '98 was the first Sisyphus which started kind of as a challenge and a joke. Could I make a zen garden, a robot that could rake a zen garden?
Bruce Shapiro is the motion control artist behind the kinetic art tables. He left his job as a doctor 25 years ago to pursue his larger passion, which is combining math with art.
Sisyphus uses the exact same technology as 3D printers and laser cutters where there is a robot pre-programmed with algorithms to create patterns.
When Bruce Shapiro started the Kickstarter for his kinetic art tables, he asked for $50,000. In less than 24 hours they were fully funded. At the end of the campaign, they raised $1,924,018.
People will start hacking it as it gets out there too, which I think is great.
Eventually, Shapiro wants to make Sisyphus an open source project and even looks forward to people hacking it to make even more imaginative patterns.