After 13 years in the business, Engineered Arts is returning to its theatrical roots. We have developed & refined a turnkey solution for robotic theatre installations. A totally integrated system, robots, movement tracks, animation software, touchscreen control, lighting & external device control, & sound system integration. We can even animate the content for you! It’s modular nature means, the scale of the system is massively flexible, from 1 robot and a light, to 20 robots, 10 stage lights & 4 robotic-controlled projectors. The choice is yours. No matter the complexity of the system, Engineered Arts make your robotic theatre easy to use & hard to ignore.
Once, Twice, Three times the Robot…
RoboThespian steals the show wherever he goes. Our standard Theatre comes with a whopping 3 RTs! RoboThespian features a large range of movements in the torso, neck face, arms, hands and fingers. And now, RT can be purchased with squatting legs for even more dynamic movement. RoboThespian has a simple but very expressive face. With customisable, larger than life LCD eyes, that can be animated to accurately portray the robot’s emotion at any given moment. Automatically generated lip-sync. And of-course RGB LEDs in the cheeks, so he can blush when embarrassed, or be green with envy. All of this emotive power is tripled by the sheer fact there are 3 robots included in the robotic theatre package.
Robots That Move…
Having 3 robots on stage, stuck to one spot, would be pretty weird, and would limit creative options massively. That’s why we developed Smooth Mover. A smooth motorised base and track. Which allows the robots to effortlessly glide and spin into position. Just like RoboThespian, this can be animated easily in Virtual Robot.
The track is constructed using Bosch Rexroth components. This makes it very easy to create custom length tracks depending on customer needs. This helps to keep the cost low and the quality high.
Virtual Robot, Real Easy
Programming robots is normally very tricky unless you’re super computer genius. Now imagine doing this for 3 robots, 3 smooth movers, 3 stage lights and projector, all for a 45 minute show. A mammoth and largely unmanageable task. It’d be much easier if you drag your robots, lights around a virtual stage and see any changes you want to make instantly. Without ever having to know a scrap of code. All whilst seeing and hearing how each individual element works in relation to the rest of the set up. With Virtual robot, you can do just this. All within the comfort of a browser.
Relax… It’s all Under Control
The robots are your amazing actors, but even the best thespians need a stage & lights so as to be seen. Our software allows control of 3rd party hardware that uses the industry standard DMX control. This can include stage lighting, robotic arms, smoke machines etc. These devices can be placed on a 3D stage inside or animation software virtual robot. From there, drag & drop & animation is a breeze. Videos & sounds effects can be easily placed on the timeline, and automatically sync to all the devices in your show. Leaving you to concentrate on the creative stuff, whilst we make it all work.
Change your Characters in a Snap!
RoboThespian faces have always been changeable. But until now, it was always a bit tricky, using small screws & a bit of patience. This meant is wasn’t very quick to change a face, and could be tricky to do in the dark (most theatres). Now that’s all changed. Faces are quickly secured with a series of magnets. Place the face close to the head and is snaps itself into place. Removing the face is as simple pulling it away from the head. No tools, no losing screws. Just simple, quick & easy.
This opens up the possibility of quick turn around of additional performances that contain different characters. This small detail can vastly increase the value of your asset.
Time to see the light…
As humans, we have very strong subconscious emotional reaction to colour. Equipped with RGB LEDs, RoboThespians are able to exploit this sensitivity to colour extremely effectively. They are also useful for differentiating between characters. With 8-bits per colour channel, the LEDs are able to approximately produce 16,777,216 different colours. All lighting is animated using Virtual Robot. Fill your villain with a putrid green and make sure your crowd are disgusted. Flush your hero in red when they feel love. Make your audience gasp when a cherished character dies, and her lights slowly fade to nothing. Using light and colour this way, allows us to see inside the soul of the characters, and increases the impact of performance. Not something that can be replicated by human actors.
Built to last…
Version one of our Robotic Theatre was purchased by Copernicus Science Centre. In 7 years of service it completed over 20,000 performances. 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!
Now on version two, we developed and improved upon version one making it easier to use, maintain, with better movement, newer model robots, better animation software to name a few of the improvements.
Online, On Form
All elements of Robotic theatre systems are securely connected to the internet. This means performances can be triggered remotely. You can easily update content on the theatre from anywhere in the world. And importantly, most technical problems can be troubleshot remotely from our team of engineers. This minimises downtime, and increases efficiency when creating content too.
Robotic Theatre? Sounds Good
The theatre system, is able to scale its audio power depending on the size of it’s auditorium. It uses a combination of a line out into a PA system and an on-board speaker on each robot. The PA provides rich powerful sound that fills the room, and the on board speaker provides directional sound for each robot. This is especially useful for audience members who are sat close to the stage. This mimics how a theatre production would run with humans. The main amplification of the actor comes from the PA system, but those sat close to the action would here the voice of the actor directly from their mouth. The robot speaker only pushes out sound when that specific robot is talking. Best of all, the process is automated. Saving a huge amount of time in the animation & review process.