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Robotics used to create custom-themed interactive game park rides

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November 12, 2006

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November 13, 2006 As soon as you connect the two – robotics and theme park rides – it makes sense. Why build a one-off ride that will eventually lose its appeal when you can create an infinite number of rides by using a programmable industrial robot? German company KUKA Roboter GmbH builds industrial robots for the automotive, aerospace and foundry industries, among others. Its fully-programmable 5- and 6-axis robots can reach of up to 3.7 metres with payloads of 570kg and are employed around the world for applications such as material handling and machine loading. Kuka has partnered with Canada’s Primal Rides to provide a new fully interactive amusement ride. The KUKA KR 500 robot will be used as the building block of Primal Rides’ new robotic gaming ride. The interactive ride can be designed to match customer’s requirements in theme, intensity and realism and to cost effectively change themes to adjust to rider appeal.

The KUKA KR 500 robot is designed especially for high-speed tasks with heavy payloads. The robot is a six-axis robot with a 3326 mm reach and capable of handling up to a 500 kg payload. The robot is capable of throwing a 2 g force and the ride featuring the robot can be equipped with a variety of laser guns, targets, themeing and effects depending on the customer’s theme ideas. Amusement parks can quickly and cost effectively change the theme and intensity of the ride by changing peripheral effects and robot programming without re-investing in new hardware.

“This is the first fully interactive robotic gaming ride of its kind,” said Kevin Kozuszek, director of marketing for KUKA Robotics Corporation. “Primal Rides’ attractions are extremely creative and with our robot used as the ride’s building block their customers are limited only by their imagination.”

Primal Rides, located in Renfrew, Ontario, Canada, is a leading entertainment and attraction manufacturer. It specializes in fully-themed environments which it creates and builds based on close consultation with its clients. The company specializes in systems integration with in-house theme and scenic departments and also has foam and metal fabricating capabilities. The company’s expertise includes theme park rides, animatronics, props and scenery.

Kuka’s annual production volume of robots is in the vicinity of 10,000 units, and it has an installed base of over 75,000 units, all controlled from a common PC based controller platform.

Primal Rides will be showing a scaled down concept version of the ride at the IAAPA Expo in Atlanta, Georgia November 15-18, 2006.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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