What features should remote control scenery have?

CastleSeven

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2015
Hey guys, my company manufacturers small boxes that attach to any motorized frame to provide remote control via a standard RC transmitter (like you'd use for an RC helicopter or plane).

We've had them used several times, mostly in productions like Phantom of the Opera, to move the boat across stage without tracks, supers, or stage hands.

What are some things you guys would like to be able to do with such a box? What features would make your life easier? If RC scenery was more affordable, would it be used more? What are some of the headaches with non-RC scenery that need to be worked around or overcome?

We're trying to get a Kickstarter launched to do more R&D on the product to add different control modes (line following, Bluetooth, etc), but we want to understand demand from the people that would be using it before we commit to a certain line of research.

For those interested in what we've built - turtlerc.com

Thanks!
 

icewolf08

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
What I would want to see: If it is wireless, it has to be 100% gonna work every single time. If/when it fails, it has to fail safe, so any/all moving pieces stop, period, when any connection is dropped. The system would need to have realtime tracking of where pieces are in space so that complex, multi-dimensional moves can be executed. Latency would have to be very minimal so that in the event of an e-stop, moving pieces stop near instantly. You probably also want integration of the controller with standard show control protocols like MSC or OSC.

I am so there are more.
 

bobgaggle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Only thing I can think of that hasn't been said is maybe an integrated screen and camera with IR on the motorized unit. Would help if sight lines from backstage are blocked. Of course this could be solved with a camera FOH and a monitor backstage the operator can watch...
 

porkchop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Location
Vegas
The guys at RC4 Wireless hold the information on their RC6 Wireless Motion Control system pretty close to their chest, but I would try and find all the information you can on their system. They would be a strong competitor and anything that comes with their equipment I would probably expect to find in yours.
If you're looking at automating anything that's big or close enough to a performer that an injury is possible you should probably look into ISA100.11a. That's the wireless standard for industrial control systems (Industrial automation standards are heavily leaned upon by our industry to ensure safety). The ISA has a few different documents that provide guidance on ISA100 compliant wireless here