What do you get when you cross the Tour de France, a team of robot engineers and hundreds of gallons of liquid yellow chalk? You get Chalkbot, of course!!
It is a long-standing tradition at the Tour de France for fans to spend hours creating elaborate messages and illustrations along the course for riders to see as they whizz by. Chalkbot automates this process by allowing user-submitted messages of hope to be sprayed on the road about eight hours ahead of the riders. Once the message is approved, it is sent to the Chalkbot which will then spray the 40-character message, take a photo and then email the photo along with GPS coordinates to the person who submitted it. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Built by DeepLocal and StandardRobot in partnership with Nike and Wieden+Kennedy, Chalkbot is like a giant self-contained pneumatic dot matrix printer that is mounted to a trailer pulled by a truck and can print messages and graphics of varying types on the road. Users can submit their own inspirational messages by Tweeting them @chalkbot, texting “LIVESTRONG,” followed by your message, to 36453 or directly at the official Chalkbot website.
Check the video for some action-shots and a little behind the scenes magic.