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Big Lake Man's Robot Turns Winter Into Art

BIG LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) -- Roger Hanson is a man of many trades. He's worked in construction, engineering, and computer software, and all of those skills came together when he decided to create a massive ice sculpture.

It all began when he became curious about what to do with expelled water from his geo-thermal heating system. He developed a software program, and a robot, to harness the water and then sprinkle it in the same place at different intervals.

"The whole magic of this process is to get the water to where you want it to go," Hanson said.


Hanson first put a weather station on top of his house to make sure the sprinkler only kicked in when the temperature and the wind were right.

"Now I got the weather station right on top of the robot itself," he said.

The result is spectacular.

The ice is a beautiful blue with some parts at the ends still white.

"That's because of the air bubbles trapped in the ice," Hanson said.

He said he's stopped his regular Sunday tours, but if you want to go to his website you can make an appointment and learn more about the process.

Roger Hanson Ice Sculpture
(credit: CBS)
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