By Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association
Until recently, few people could boast they had strapped themselves to a robot and gone for a ride (although quite a few did this at 2005 International Robots & Vision Show when KUKA brought an early version of their RoboCoaster). Now you can go to Epcot for the most intense version yet: “The Sum of all Thrills.”
KUKA teamed up with Disney to develop a unique version of their robot thrill ride that takes the experience, which is already unparalleled, to a whole new level. You are immersed in a 4-D simulator attached to a KUKA robot that heaves you around in space, surrounds you with high-definition video, stereo sound, and blows air at you to enhance the sensation of speed and momentum.
Each ride is designed by the rider who can choose from a trip on a roller coaster, bobsled or jet plane. The aim of this endeavor is more than to thrill you. Disney and KUKA want to cultivate an interest in design and engineering concepts by offering simple, interactive, math-based tools with a touch screen to let riders program their own custom experience.
Innovations like the RoboCoaster (an attraction at many parks around the world) keep KUKA on the cutting edge of robotic technology. Their industrial robots, renowned for sleek design lines and PC-based robot controllers, are as attractive and reliable on the manufacturing floor as they are in a theme park. KUKA is one of the elite Platinum Members of RIA and has been part of the Association since 1995.