ABB, a leader in power and automation technologies, today coupled robust robotics growth in 2012 with a new collaboration with Andy Flessas (aka andyRobot) to deliver RoboScreen function packages for entertainment and commercial uses. ABB is a worldwide leader in the development of industrial robots and operational software, with more than 200,000 ABB robots installed globally.
ABB's robotics growth is representative of the wide scale adoption of robot automation across a range of industries. In fact, the North American robotics market has recorded its strongest year ever in 2012, according to new statistics from Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry's trade group. RIA estimates that some 225,000 robots are now in use at United States factories, placing the US second only to Japan in robot use.
While robotics technology is historically driven by the automotive and manufacturing industry, 2012 saw increased demand from the food industry, with the development of robotic units with the dexterity to handle food, and from the entertainment and tourism industries. This latter use is behind today's announcement of RoboScreen packs.
RoboScreen, for which Flessas holds numerous patents, is a graphical screen mounted to the arm of an ABB articulated arm robot, which creates a unique viewer experience by bringing virtually unlimited, 6-axis movement to the video media. Large model RoboScreens travelled the globe as main stage props for the Bon Jovi Circle Tour. On the tour, the RoboScreens moved to the beat of the music, displayed real time video and pre-produced animations, and assembled into various formations such as individual stairs and an elevated performance platform
"andyRobot is clearly the master visionary in the application of industrial robots for entertainment and commercial sectors," said Bertil Thorvaldsson , global software products manager for ABB Robotics. "We were delighted to collaborate with him on the development of the new PowerPac software products and are excited about the further innovation they will allow in cultivating these emerging applications."
With the various robot and screen size options, the two dedicated software plug-ins and the mixing board option, a RoboScreen function package can be assembled to serve a virtually unlimited range of entertainment and commercial applications. Some potential applications include:
*Live Events and Entertainment - RoboScreens positioned outside performance venues for pre-event entertainment or marketing, or positioned inside to provide replays and other event enhancements. Or as on the Bon Jovi tour or in a theatrical performance, the RoboScreens can also be an integral part of the production itself, providing an inimitable blend of 6-axis motion and video display for stage props, structural elements and visual intrigue.
*Retail Robotics - Strategically placed RoboScreens for interactive point-of-purchase advertising and in-store information to shoppers, providing advice for specific products and possibly allowing manufacturers to interact in real time with customers considering their product.
*Kinetic Architecture - RoboScreens as a moveable wall or floor, where the ambiance of a room can be altered by the motion of the screens and the video being played therein.
*Nightclubs and Sports Bars - RoboScreens that capture components of simulation technology with motion coordinated in real time to action occurring on screen during a performance, sporting event or video game.