Built for Laughs, Built to Last
3 Robots, 7500 parts, 7 years, 20,000 Performances!
So after 7 years of service, three very busy RoboThespians have taken a well-earned retirement. In 2010, Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw took delivery of 3 RoboThespians, as part of a complete robotic theatre infrastructure. Something designed and developed by Engineered Arts. Hats off to Copernicus. They were very early adopters of the RoboThespian platform. Alongside the three robots used in their Robotic Theatre, they also own RT0001. The first RoboThespian with a serial number! And to this day, he still entertains the crowds after 8 years of loyal service. The 3 robots bought for the robotic theatre were very early RT 3.0’s. (0013,0016,0019). Our robots have come a long way since then, and at the time of publication, we’re manufacturing RT0125. All that being said, these bots have shown an incredible level of reliability, stamina and value to Copernicus.
Variety is the Robotic Spice of Life
In this time, the theatre has presented multiple productions. Including “What The Old Man Does Is Always Right” by Hans Christian Andersen, “Prince Ferrix And Princess Crystal” & “The Secret Of An Empty Drawer or The Ghosts Of The Fourth Dimension”. All of these theatrical pieces include virtual set changes with animations projected on the backdrop and synchronised lighting effects. All of these are synchronised with animated content from the robots and is 100% repeatable. Something that can’t be always be said for stage shows involving humans.
Full control of colour for Emotional Resonance.
Photo: Filip Klimaszewski
20,000 performances in 7 years. These numbers are impressive. But how do they compare to more traditional productions? Let’s look at the longest-running theatre show in the world. The London production of Les Miserables. Running since 1985, by October 25th, 2014 it had been performed a stunning 12000 times. This is still a full 8000 fewer performances than the robotic theatre in Copernicus, and Les Mis had an additional 22 years to make up the shortfall. A rough calculation comparing the two performances helps to give an idea of the efficiency the robotic theatre provides. Based on the figures above Les Mis averaged approx 1.1 performances a day. Contrasting with Copernicus’ 8!
8 performances a day!
This means Copernicus could theoretically fill a theatre 8 times a day, providing a great return on investment. During the time the robots have been performing, just like owning a car, there have of course been requirements for maintenance. Because our robots are web-connected devices, most of the maintenance has been facilitated remotely. Our Engineers in the UK providing timely diagnostics, software updates and fix instructions to the Copernicus team. Meaning minimal downtime, ensuring they can keep people coming through the door and money in the till. There has been one planned visit to Poland for physical maintenance in 2014. This by anybody’s standards is low maintenance and low cost vs a traditional theatre production.