Most tech products are designed to do a practical job. Your computer can run spreadsheet software to help you keep up with your finances. Your smartphone has social media apps that allow you to keep in contact with your friends. Your television provides access to entertainment. But technology can also be used to bring joy into your life through its own merits. That’s the case with the Sisyphus Mini, which is a kinetic art machine that draws soothing patterns in the sand.
The Sisyphus Mini recently launched on Kickstarter, and has already raised more than half a million dollars — more than ten times its funding goal. It’s a smaller, tabletop-friendly version of the Sisyphus kinetic art table that was launched on Kickstarter back in 2016. That first Kickstarter campaign raised nearly two million dollars, which is the highest-funded art project in Kickstarter’s history. It was, however, quite expensive at $645 for a Sisyphus End Table. Many people wanted a more compact and affordable version, which is where the Sisyphus Mini comes in.
Like its big brother, the Sisyphus Mini is a CNC-controlled kinetic art machine that automatically draws patterns in sand. It’s like a Japanese zen garden that grooms itself. With the mobile app, you can control the patterns that Sisyphus draws. It does so with a small metal ball that rests in the sand, and is pulled around by a magnetic CNC mechanism that’s hidden underneath. It comes with a variety of pattern “tracks,” and new tracks are frequently developed by the community. You can, of course, also create your own tracks to draw your own patterns.
If you want a Sisyphus Mini, the Kickstarter campaign will be running until June 13th. There are three version available: the $375 exposed-mechanics ES model, the $545 fully-enclosed EX model, and the $895 beautifully-carved LE model. All rewards are expected to be delivered in December.