This table using a metal ball to create the most mesmerizing sand art you’ve ever seen


In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a clever but arrogant king who cheated Death by trapping Thanatos (and in some versions of the stories, Hades) in his own chains. As punishment the other gods made him roll a heavy boulder up a hill every day for all eternity. At the end of each day the boulder would fall back down to the bottom of the hill and Sisyphus would have to repeat the task again the next day.


Sand artist Bruce Shapiro was inspired by the story to create his own Sisyphus – a unique table that features a metal ball that constantly moved on its bed of sand, creating and erasing magnificent designs. The table’s design mechanisms can be controlled using an app that lets you choose from a minimum of 25 transfixing designs.

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So how are these soothing designs created? Beneath the sand layer, exists a two-motor robot named, the Sisbot. It controls a magnet that pulls the metal ball along a programmed path of polar coordinates. Sisbots are built by hand and individually tested before being fitted into the tables.

Sisyphus tables are available for pre-order now. You can choose from 3ft or 4 ft wooden coffee table style designs and choose the veneer and lighting that you like. Prices start at $7,500. A metal framed version is also available for purchase in side table and coffee table variants, for as little as $1299.

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