Pablo Odysseus

Pablo is a autonomous beach art rover.
The point is to draw large drawings on the beach.

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I love the beach. I can stay for a long time to contemplate the waves, the sun, the ocean ...
I want to create a surprise for the morning walkers who discover on the beach very large drawings of animals, portraits, texts ... Imagine the face of the first person walking towards the beach at a very early hour and then seeing the image drawn in the sand.
Then the drawings are effaced by the tide.

Q: What's the point?
A: What is art used for?

Before departure, the mission of the rover is prepared in advance by placing the image to be drawn on a map. Once on the spot, the robot aims to trace the path on the sand.
The rover don't need any hardware tags that define the work area, so it can work on large areas. It is located on the ground knowing its geographical coordinates using its sensors.

Odysseus can already draw texts and figures. However it still needs to improve accuracy with more sensitive sensors.

About Pablo...
The technique is not the most important

The first idea is to convey a message, to share an emotion. It's an instrument, a brush, and the sand is the canvas.

Pablo is coming along nicely, I would like to tell you the odyssey.

France, 14 Juillet 2017

But we also must talk about technical, so let's go...

General Specs :

  • Weight : 41 kg (90 lbs)
  • Dimension: width 50 cm x length 60 cm x height 60 cm
  • Frame Material : Aluminium
  • Software : MS VS2015 C# ( no ROS, all by hand )

The next developments are:

What a budget!


Wiring diagram

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 674.39 kB - 07/18/2017 at 06:33



3D Sketchup format of Pablo

SSEYO Koan Play File - 6.92 MB - 07/18/2017 at 06:28



B.O.M and wiring

sheet - 1.25 MB - 07/16/2017 at 16:35



Digital Inputs and Outputs file for Arduino Mega

ino - 7.66 kB - 04/11/2017 at 19:14



Compass file for Arduino Micro

ino - 2.98 kB - 04/06/2017 at 19:52


View all 7 files

View all 12 components

  • September news

    Ulysse09/01/2017 at 08:21 2 comments

    Pablo V2 finally arrived !

    How to thank Hackaday ? Now Pablo is equipped with :

    • a more powerful card ( lattepanda )
    • a RTK GNSS receiver for more accuracy

    Nice look !

    I have to reassemble the tool and go back to the beach

  • Increase autonomy

    Ulysse08/03/2017 at 16:26 0 comments

    There is enough room for a larger battery to increase the autonomy.

    The previous : 60 Amps / hour

    The new battery : 80 Amps / hour

    I have four batteries of the same type ( thanks to a friend who helped me ), now Pablo can draw for hours and hours. But it weighs 10 kg more !

  • Wireless Access Pont and New HCI

    Ulysse07/12/2017 at 20:06 0 comments

    Pablo is now equipped with a small wireless access point. It is easier to connect a smartphone to control the rover with VNC (Virtual Network Computing) and the communication distance is better than Bluetooth.

    The HCI (Human-computer interaction) is also lighter for use on a small screen :

  • New simple rake

    Ulysse07/01/2017 at 18:17 0 comments

    Because sometimes the simplest is best. No electric motor, less consumption.

    The teeth are equipped with steel wire

    The part equipped with claws leaves a clear trace, precisely the aim sought. We also keep the flexibility of the plastic blades, the teeth are well resting on the sand.

    I added three pounds of lead

    The tool is moved by an electric motor from a car door, a switch control the end of lift

  • Synoptic navigation

    Ulysse06/21/2017 at 15:44 0 comments

    A drawing consists of segments (to be plotted or not). Each segment is defined by start and stop coordinates (latitude and longitude).
    The "Navigation" activity consists of driving the rover from segment to segment. It is executed every 1/4 of a second.

  • On the spot

    Ulysse06/13/2017 at 19:22 0 comments

    The beginnings are instructive! The navigation software works very well, the accuracy is good. On the image the robot begins to draw the letter "P" ( Height 20 meters, Pablo can also write text ). But the tool for plotting is not powerful enough. I have to find something better!

    Also, the sand must not be too wet otherwise the tracks disappear.

  • Test of the rotary rake

    Ulysse06/07/2017 at 19:01 0 comments

    Here is the first test of the rotary rake (It must not touch the grass), low speed. It is possible to change the speed of rotation. All settings (speed and height) will be set at the beach.

  • Rotating springs

    Ulysse06/01/2017 at 06:33 0 comments

    The rotating springs should well draw the sand, I hope. A new test on the beach very soon.

  • Making the rake

    Ulysse05/26/2017 at 08:36 0 comments

    This is the main tool, and it is not easy to do. It must print a beautiful trace on the sand.

    It is made of springs that rotate with a motor.

    The springs are cut and screwed onto a threaded rod

    Now find a motor to run ...

    The motor comes from a drill. It is pushed into a pipe.

  • Remote

    Ulysse04/26/2017 at 16:12 0 comments

    The easiest way to remote control Pablo is to use a smartphone. MIT App Inventor allows you to create an application for Android without a line of code.
    On the screen of this Android app we find the controls: forward, back, right, left, half turn, stop, raise, lower ... The orders are transmitted by Bluetooth.
    There is a link between Pablo and the smartphone that sends a control string every 5 seconds via a virtual serial port. Pablo's software regularly interrogates a timer that stops the machine if this string is not received, for example if the link is broken.
    It's just a way to direct the rover, because in this mode you can no longer call it a robot, just a big remote controlled toy. But It's useful to get Pablo from the parking to the beach and come back.

View all 13 project logs

  • 1
    Collecting items

    Collect the items using the B.O.M

    Big items are not the most expensive...For example the battery comes from an old car, the engines come from an old electric wheelchair. The computer is also a model not very efficient but not expensive. The aluminum structure comes from a waste collection center. Arduino modules are not expensive. And then you have to economize to buy the most expensive items like GPS receiver and motor controller.

  • 2
    Download files

    All programs and source files are available :

    • Pablo, of course. C# MS VS2015
    • Mission, to plan the mission. C# MS VS2015
    • Files for Arduino : compass, odometer, output relays. INO files

    Here are the files ( but not an expert with github )

  • 3
    Compass wiring

    The compass is a device used to determine direction of the magnetic "North".

    To connect the assembled BNO055 breakout to an Arduino Micro, follow the wiring diagram below.

    • Connect SCL to analog 5
    • Connect SDA to analog 4
    • Connect VDD to 3-5V DC
    • Connect GROUND to common ground

    A good tutorial for cabling and programming the arduino module

    It can be protected under a plastic dome to protect it from rain and sand :

    This is a short clip of an Arduino Micro connected to an Adafruit BNO055 breakout board to track orientation.

    Result : straight ahead !

View all 7 instructions

Enjoy this project?



Oliver17 wrote 07/16/2017 at 19:01 point

Allez Pablo, tu as trop la classe, j'ai hâte de voir ces créations vue du ciel. ;)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ulysse wrote 07/17/2017 at 08:59 point

Merci Oliver, rendez-vous à la rentrée

  Are you sure? yes | no

Erin RobotGrrl wrote 05/04/2017 at 18:35 point

How much does your robot weigh? Nice to see another beach based robot in the world (check out our project #Robot Missions)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ulysse wrote 05/04/2017 at 19:21 point

Thank you Erin. 

The weight is 41 kg (90 lbs). It will soon be equipped with a second battery to reach 24 volts so the weight will increase, and autonomy too (several hours).

Your project "Robot Missions" is well documented, a model for me.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ulysse wrote 05/05/2017 at 07:07 point

Thank you Erin. 
The weight is 41 kg (90 lbs). It will soon be equipped with a second battery to reach 24 volts so the weight will increase, and autonomy too (several hours). Your project "Robot Missions" is well documented, a model for me.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ulysse wrote 04/27/2017 at 06:15 point

Hey .... ( thinking ... )  New objective in view !

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jon Lorusso wrote 04/26/2017 at 19:37 point

This is very cool.  You need to add one additional feature.  The bot should have a drone hidden inside its enclosure.  When the drawing is near completion, the drone should pop out, fly overhead, take a picture, and then return safely to the bot (and go back inside the enclosure). (only half joking)

  Are you sure? yes | no

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