|“||This morning she was thinking about how to construct a device that could retrieve a rock after you had skipped it into the ocean.||”|
A rock-retrieval device is an invention intended by Violet Baudelaire to retrieve rocks that had been skipped into the water out of reach.
On a trip to Briny Beach with her siblings, Violet Baudelaire had her hair tied up, considering how to build such an invention. Due to their immediate orphaning, she never had the chance to build or complete it.
2004 Film Divergent Canon
|“||There's always something.||”|
The retrieval device only appears in a deleted scene of the film; in it, Violet skips a rock into an old typewriter, held in the water by a rope with an old wheel attached. The wheel spins and is able to skip the rock back to her.
Netflix Series Divergent Canon
|“||Perfect for skipping stones and other lost objects.||”|
— Violet's Fantastic Devices
Following the children's orphaning, they seem to have forgotten the invention, and it is later seen buried on the beach.
The invention is referred to as "The Picnic Pick-Upper" in The Incomplete History of Secret Organizations: An Utterly Unreliable Account of Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events, where it is described as hosting multiple cogs and pistons that extend a retractable claw.