ABB robots take the stage with Bon Jovi
A primary component of this Bon Jovi concert tour is five ABB IRB 7600 industrial robots positioned toward the back of the stage, each with a 6 ft x 9 ft LED video panel attached to their articulated arm. The robots and screens are integral to the concert production, moving to the beat of the music while displaying real time video footage of the show and digital animations, according to ABB. At various intervals the five robot arms move into a formation where the LED panels become a continuous, five-panel screen.
The robots will accompany the nearly two-year long tour, which currently features approximately 60 concerts in North America and Europe, with additional dates likely to be scheduled.
The creative concept that brings the robots to life on stage is the Robotic Arts RoboScreen, a patented technology developed by inventor Andy Flessas, the founder and president of Robotic Arts of Las Vegas, NV. Flessas’ experience with robots began in the mid-1990s, and reached elite status in 2006 when he completed a robotic programming, design and operation certification program at the ABB training facility in Auburn Hills, MI. Along the way he developed the idea of mounting a screen on a robotic arm to bring controlled movement to the visual media and create a unique viewer experience.
The intelligence that allows the robots to be precisely choreographed with the music and the onstage production is Robotic Arts Robot Animator, a software program extension that enables 3D computer animation. The proprietary software developed by Flessas provides a separate interface to animate the movement of the ABB robots as if they were on-screen characters. Once the desired movement is established Robot Animator channels the code directly into ABB’s IRC controller and the robots replicate the movement on stage.
“We were able to take the ABB robots out of the factory and turn them into rock stars mainly through the power of the IRC5 controller and its ability to accept the precise movement established in Robot Animator,” said Flessas. “The programming we are doing for this tour could bring a totally new thought pattern to be used in advanced manufacturing applications in the future. This entertainment application may allow it to break through,” Flessas said.
Each IRB 7600 robot is entrusted with a custom designed LED panel that weighs 700 lbs. and is comprised of 24 individual sub-panels arranged in a six column by four row grid. The I-MAG or image magnification footage, approximately 85% of what will appear on the screens during the show, is fed by multiple cameras set up throughout the concert venue. The animations that fill the balance of the screen time are a combination of pre-programmed 3D graphics and fully rendered, real time computerized reactions to the beat of the music.
See more photos and read more about the application. Search IRB 7600 on this site.