A Vitec Group brand
Broadcast robotics are already providing cost effective solutions in a wide range of applications from simple one or two camera studios to network studios utilising total robotic solutions for everything from news broadcasts to live sports action.
However, we are in something of a transitional period at the moment, with robotics beginning to move forward as a growth industry, enabling applications and capabilities of the devices and systems used within broadcasting to increase.
For instance, the opportunities for new dynamic movement provided by industrial robots, are opening up the creative advantages of broadcast robotics, which cannot be replicated by traditional camera support platforms.
I believe robotics will become the dominant studio camera support solution within ten years, as more and more broadcasters take the decision to move into robotics to reap the obvious financial benefits, only to be further delighted by the creative and functional advantages to be added in the very near future.
While there will always be a place – and a need for “manned” cameras - robotics, as in many other “production” industries, will successfully take on the lion’s share of the day-to-day studio work, which will move beyond the restrictions imposed by traditional pedestals.
The key development that is making this possible – and also now addressing the major issue of “intuitive” camera control – is what I like to term “creative artificial intelligence”.
At Vinten Radamec, we lead the world in broadcast robotics technology and are focusing our research and development strategy on delivering ever greater levels of technical intelligence and functionality in our systems.
It is the ability to achieve the desired image, rather than our previous goal of attaining a camera position that is the driving force behind our research programme. For instance, this will enable integrated production solutions to not require a robot operator to tidy the shot relative to the subject, the autonomy is delivered by the camera control systems ability to understand its environment, context and to react appropriately to it.
We already have robotic pedestals that will automatically sense and accommodate their tracking across uneven surfaces and will keep the camera traveling in a straight line. A combination of smart electronics, using error calculation algorithms greatly increases accuracy and repeatability of movements for the pedestal beyond human capability.
Unquestionably, intelligent camera control technology is here – and here to stay. The challenge still facing us as an industry innovator and manufacturer is to help lead every broadcaster toward this future.