The Future’s Quantum, The Future’s Robotic
October 27, 2014
An interchangeable SeaPlex games room…
Virtual balconies for inside staterooms…
Royal Caribbean have really outdone themselves with their brand spanking Quantum-class ship, Quantum of the Seas and reading all about it is making us VERY excited!
Plus, if all that wasn’t enough, the ship has robots onboard too!
No, we don’t mean the Terminator or Johnny 5 from Short Circuit but there’s definitely a bionic theme taking guests further into the future of cruising.
To ensure that guests are entertained in innovative style Quantum is combining robotics with entertainers to create a cruising (and world) first.
Situated in the Two70° lounge which can morph into whatever kind of venue it needs to be (using a pretty nifty 270° panorama and 18 projectors that can change the vista at the push of a button) the Robo show will provide guests with an unforgettable experience; something that not many people in the world will be able to say they’ve seen.
Here www.CRUISE.co.uk takes a look at what these Roboscreens are all about……is Johnny 5 still alive?
The Bare Ro-Bones of the Concept
Basically, the clever cruising big-wigs behind the Quantum of the Seas decided that installing robotic screens into one of their lounges would be just the thing to make passengers’ jaws drop during a dazzling evening event and by the looks of the sneak-peak videos, they were right.
The Roboscreens®, created by ABB Robotics, will enable complete customisation of the entertainment planned, which means that the Two70° Lounge in which they’re fitted can become anything that it needs to be – just call it a cruise-lounge chameleon.
Altogether, there are six giant 100-inch LED Roboscreens, which are perched on industrial robot arms – created by ABB Robotics – which can individually swivel, turn and create unique configurations to suit the event, with the ability to offer unlimited, 6-axis movement and if you have no idea what all of that means, let us just assure you that the effect is pretty awesome.
These screens enable Royal Caribbean to ‘take the wall, off the wall’ and will work both together and individually to incredible effect.
The Roboscreens are suggested to have a combined 12k resolution, which is sharper than the sharpest knife in the block and crisper than, well, a crisp.
Compare that to the average cinema screen at between 2k and 4k and you can see how immense it will look. The six Roboscreens, combined with the Visto-rama concept that occupies the 270° panorama, will allow guests to become completely immersed in the entertainment and this, combined with being in a room that appeals on many levels – including holding an ice bar, a library and an activity workshop – will ensure guests walk away from this magical experience with their mouths agape (be careful not to let your tongue fall out in the ice bar though…it might stick!)
As of yet, this scale of Roboscreens® technology isn’t available anywhere else – the Quantum of the Seas is well and truly ahead of its competition, both at-sea and on-shore.
In fact, apart from the Mars rover project, this sort of robotics just doesn’t exist. Cruising meets space travel? Now THAT’s impressive.
Roboscreens® have been used before, however, on a smaller, less ambitious scale.
They have been used in Las Vegas (where it’s go-big or go-home!), for an in-house show by house music legend, deadmau5 and were also commissioned to be used by Bon Jovi during their Circle tour, which kicked off in 2010.
The band used five of these ABB Robotics Roboscreens, which each had a 6’ x 9’ LED video attached to its articulated arm.
Whilst this was pretty mind-blowing for the Bon Jovi fans and dedicated robo techies, it’s not a patch on what the Quantum will have onboard.
The Robotic Arts system was the brainchild of US clever-clogs, Andy Flessas (aptly nicknamed Andy Robot – he even signs his emails this way!) with software called Robot Animator providing 3D computer animation.
He has worked in conjunction with ABB Robotics for many years and the Roboscreens are definitely something for his record of achievement (hands up who’s still got theirs from school?).
Quantum of the Seas certainly thanks him for the ingenious creation which will undoubtedly add WOW factor to the tech-advanced ship.
Flessas – or should that be ‘Mr Robot?’ – has outdone himself with these super-cool Roboscreens. He’s on record as saying that robots, ‘…can make a whole bunch of stuff cooler…’ and whilst the Quantum didn’t really need to be upped in the cool stakes, his gigantic robot arms and screens will undoubtedly help to ensure the Two70° lounge is at the top of everyone’s go-to list.
Onboard the Quantum, the Roboscreens® can be configured into a number of formations, including a continuous row, a 3×2 stack or a serpentine row which makes it look like a robotic zig-zag.
When they’re continuous, they display one cohesive video or image but when they’re separate, the images can be co-ordinated to seemingly jump between the screens.
While RCI are keeping the finer details of their shows a little under wraps – it is nice to save some surprises for guests onboard, afterall – they have provided readers with little snippets about what they can look forward to, including The Virtual Concert and Starwater – an RCI original production.
Starwater utilises the ground-breaking bots to the max and merges them with a live performance that tells the story of a muse – Celestia – who enchants the Gods to swim with the mermaids, in a production that will enthral the audience.
It’ll be a highly visual production, with music, aerialists, dancers and singers, as well as a light show hopping around the Roboscreens before the lights drop to the floor to create a dancefloor perfect for showing off your dance moves – even if the teenagers do turn away and pretend they don’t know you.
The Virtual Concert meanwhile, features premier musicians in a unique way, by projecting high-res footage of orchestras, bands and groups onto the Visto-rama system, as well as using the Roboscreens to add extra wow-factor.
Royal Caribbean International haven’t disclosed much more about which artists could be entertaining the crowds through the screens but it’s guaranteed be a real muso treat without the high (or any!) ticket price.
As well as marvelling at the nifty and mega-clever Roboscreens, guests can also be WOWed by the Visto-rama system, which has eighteen projectors aimed at the panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows in the Two70° lounge, which span almost three decks at the stern of the ship.
This surface provides a blank canvas for the projectors to work with and when the sunshades are down, these projectors can provide guests with fantastical images of dream-worthy scenes, from the deepest rainforest, to underwater scenes.
Combine that with the movements of the Roboscreens and the artist performances and the shows in Two70 will be nothing short of amazing.
After all, the show must go on and on futuristic Quantum, they’ll be light years ahead of what exists elsewhere.
Top Tip: Make sure you don’t have too many cocktails – you won’t want to forget this in the morning!
Whilst the Starwater and Virtual Concert shows will be scheduled, guests can expect the six robo-arms to come to live whenever they feel like it.
Surprise performances in the Two70° lounge will happen at any time, maybe when you least expect it!
Who doesn’t love surprises – especially when it’s a ROBOSHOW surprise!
Again, expectations of a guest appearance by Johnny 5 are going to disappoint.
The choreographed movements of the smart-Alec bots, combined with the flawless movements of the artists, the magical soundtracks and the awe-inspiring projections of the Visto-rama will ensure that an evening in the Two70° lounge will be a mind-blowing one – and not just because of the cocktails.
We think Two70° is set to be one of Quantum’s best features. If you get a chance to sail on her, do let us know if we’re right!
And let’s not forget RCI’s Quantum-class sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, who will be released from her dock captivity in May 2015.
The plans may not have been released yet but as the second in the Quantum-class fleet, she’s sure to have all of the gadgetry and advanced technology features that her twin sister, Quantum of the Seas, has.
That includes the Roboscreens®, of course!
And, whilst the Quantum will be relocated to Shanghai after her inaugural season, Southampton-based Anthem’s bot is here to stay.
Celebratory robot dance, anyone?
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