As creator behind the Sisyphus table explains, his kinetic art project was inspired by Sisyphus from Greek mythology. Instead of rolling a boulder up a mountain for all eternity like in the myth, Bruce Shapiro created a kinetic sculpture that rolls a ball through sand, creating and erasing beautiful patterns without ever stopping.
Despite creating Sisyphus kinetic tables for over 20 years, Mr Shapiro headed to Kickstarter only last year, hoping to bring Sisyphus into people's homes for them to enjoy it both as a piece of art and as furniture. And people loved it. 1,992 backers pledged $1,924,018.
You can order various models, from an end table (2 foot diameter x 22" tall) to a coffee table (3 foot diameter x 18" tall or 4 foot diameter x 18" tall). And if you wonder how the fully functional table with a thin layer of sand under its glass top works, here's what creator had to say: "Under the table is a two-motor robot (the "Sisbot") that moves a magnet which pulls a steel ball through the sand. The motors are controlled by a small Raspberry Pi computer which plays a set of path files, much like a music player plays an mp3 file. Sisyphus has no on/off switch; you simply plug it in and it automatically calibrates itself, loads a default playlist of paths, and begins playing. You can control playback – choosing favorite tracks or playlists – speed of play, and table-lighting from a mobile app or by using any browser to connect to Sisyphus with WiFi."