ABB RoboScreens for Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class

By Eric Haun
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Six ABB RoboScreens attached to six industrial robots help Royal Caribbean boost onboard entertainment capacity (Photo: ABB)

Six 100” video screens attached to six industrial robots help cruise ship operator expand onboard entertainment and amenities possibilities

As Royal Caribbean designed its new Quantum Class cruise ships, a key initiative was to enhance onboard entertainment and amenities. Consequently, the Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas ships currently under construction include such “firsts at seas” as a 300ft skydiving simulator, a large sports and recreation complex with bumper cars and a roller rink, and virtual balconies with real-time ocean views on all interior staterooms.

The signature venue on each ship, however, is Two70°, a multilevel great room named for its magnificent 270-degree panoramic sea views through vast, floor-to-ceiling glass walls spanning almost three decks at the stern of the ship. A living room by day, Two70° transforms to an entertainment center by night, seamlessly blending live performances with cutting-edge visual technology, highlighted by six ABB RoboScreens attached to a gantry above the main stage.

A RoboScreen is a graphical screen mounted to the arm of an ABB articulated arm robot, which creates a unique viewer experience by bringing virtually unlimited, six-axis movement to the video media. Available in various sizes, the Two70° RoboScreens feature six ABB IRB 6620 robots, each holding a 100” diagonal Daktronics LED screen. Housed in the ceiling while not in use, during shows in Two70° the RoboScreens will extend down on the gantry to a position above the stage, displaying unique video and imagery while performing choreographed movements, all custom produced for the specific performance.

Developed by Andy Flessas (aka andyRobot) in conjunction with ABB, RoboScreens first gained prominence in 2010 when five large models travelled the globe as main stage props for the Bon Jovi Circle Tour. They have since added visual intrigue to a concert tour by Kis-My-Ft2, a Japanese Pop band; the Las Vegas house show for deadmau5, world famous music producer and performer; and the Ultra-Music Festival in Miami. The RoboScreens being installed on the Quantum Class ships will be the first on any sort of moving vessel.

The six Royal Caribbean RoboScreens will provide a high-tech visual enhancement to live performances in Two70°, moving in preprogrammed synchronization to the show’s music and dance. The RoboScreens will periodically assemble in various formations, such as six screens in a row to form one continuous, long screen; a three by two stack to form one big square screen; or a serpentine row, much like a ‘W’ and a ‘V’ strung together. When the screens are together they can display one large cohesive video or image, and when they are apart they can display individual, coordinated images that virtually jump from screen to screen. The combined choreography of screen movement and innovative onscreen display provides an extraordinary accessory to the entertainment experience.

“We are always looking for the next thing, and by coincidence I came across the ABB RoboScreen in the Entertainment environment. It looked very interesting as a potential good fit for Two70° on the Quantum of the Seas,” said Christopher Vlassopulos, an entertainment technology manager with Royal Caribbean. “After getting some valuable information from one of my contacts at ABB in Miami, the connection to ABB Robotics and Andy Flessas at Casino Arts was made.”

The project involves the close collaboration of a number or parties, both within ABB and externally. Being the first installation of an ABB robot on any ship, the ABB Marine Power Group in Helsinki, Finland and the ABB Robotics North American team in Auburn Hills, Michigan worked together for the first time. The ABB PC software team in Gothenburg, Sweden is also involved, working on the programming software and addressing the unique challenges of operating robots at sea.

The external partners include Royal Caribbean, andyRobot, Daktronics, Waagner Biro, the gantry provider, Coolux, the video server manufacturer, and Meyer Werft, the shipbuilder based in Papenburg, Germany.

“As a manufacturer of industrial robots, collaboration both internally and with outside industry parties is a natural occurrence. But we had never worked with a cruise ship operator before, nor had we worked with ABB’s Marine Systems and Solutions business,” said Nick Hunt, an ABB Robotics technology manager working closely on the project. “Despite coming from widely disparate disciplines, each with its own arcane nomenclature, all groups were very accommodating, offering authoritative, expert advice within their spheres, making sure all parties fully understood the scope of their specific capabilities and recommendations without delay or procedural red tape.”

andyRobot and the ABB PC software team collaborated to create a custom developed Show Builder software to allow the various live performance teams that work with Royal Caribbean to easily program the choreographed RoboScreen movements to complement their specific shows.

The core of the Show Builder software is a library of preprogrammed choreography building blocks that show producers can select from to model the RoboScreen movements. The library components are created using a Maya-based Robot Animator software package co-developed several years ago by andyRobot and the ABB RobotStudio simulation software team. A show is ultimately produced by selecting building block movements from the library in succession until the choreography is complete.

“Robot Animator is huge for the production companies that are going to be using the system to make theater,” said andyRobot. “These tools will make it easy for production companies that have no experience with robots to incorporate the robots into their shows. They may not be familiar with robots, but they are all very familiar with animation.”

The complexity of the project is magnified by the challenges that are presented by installing robots on a ship, safely withstanding the natural rolling movement and the varying seas the ship will routinely encounter.

“The challenge of installing robots on a ship are from the natural pitch and roll that occurs in varying magnitude from normal to moderate to rough seas,” said Hunt. “To minimize the effects of this motion, the robots will have well defined thresholds for varying sea conditions.”

The Quantum of the Seas is scheduled to launch in November of this year, and Anthem of the Seas will launch in April 2015.


  • Image: ABB

    Image: ABB

Maritime Today

The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter November 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

New Products

Escort Tug Launched for Bay-Houston Towing

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. announced the launch of the Escort Tug H. DOUGLAS M (Hull 236) for Bay-Houston Towing Company on November 17, 2015. This series of Robert Allan, LTD.

Seagull's Software Tool for Benchmarking Seafarers Knowledge

Seagull Maritime has launched an advanced software tool able to benchmark seafarer knowledge levels, allowing shipowners and operators to compare their crew

SSI to Unveil ShipConstructor 2016 R2 at WorkBoat

SSI's latest release, ShipConstructor 2016 R2 will be unveiled for the first time in public at the International WorkBoat Show, December 1-3, in New Orleans.   According to SSI,


Henriksen Unveils Strongest SOLAS Boat Lifting Hook

H Henriksen of Norway has received SOLAS certification for a new off-load single-point boat lifting hook capable of holding up to 22.5-tonnes. The quick release

Evergreen Line Orders Ten 2,800 teu Ships

Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen is ordering ten 2,800 TEU container ships from Japanese shipbuilder Imabari Shipbuilding Co.,Ltd and compatriot CSBC Corporation.

Escort Tug Launched for Bay-Houston Towing

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. announced the launch of the Escort Tug H. DOUGLAS M (Hull 236) for Bay-Houston Towing Company on November 17, 2015. This series of Robert Allan, LTD.


Henriksen Unveils Strongest SOLAS Boat Lifting Hook

H Henriksen of Norway has received SOLAS certification for a new off-load single-point boat lifting hook capable of holding up to 22.5-tonnes. The quick release

S&P Raises Steamship Mutual outlook to Positive

Poor’s has revised its outlook on Steamship Mutual to Positive from Stable. The A- financial strength rating has been reaffirmed. In their announcement Standard

SSA Welcomes Decision To Extend BEO

The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) has welcomed the decision by Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry to extend the Competition (Block Exemption


Raytheon Anschütz Succeeds in SYNTACS SAT

Raytheon Anschütz, a leading integrator of naval integrated bridge systems, has successfully completed the Sea Acceptance Test (SAT) for the Synapsis Tactical Command

Wärtsilä's' Digital Services for Performance Enhancement

Wärtsilä, a global leader in complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets, launches a new service portfolio, Wärtsilä Genius services to help

IMMA App Offers Access to Maritime Medical Stores

Deteriorating seafarer health and poorly-stocked onboard medical chests are major issues concerning maritime medical practitioners, which is why the International


First Cruise Ships Dock at Abu Dhabi’s New Stopover

Abu Dhabi Ports─the master developer, operator and manager of ports and industrial zones in the Emirate―has started welcoming cruise liners at Sir Bani Yas Island,

Five P&O Cruise Ships Meet in Sydney

Sydney is the stage for the biggest get-together of a fleet of cruise ships ever seen in the harbor city.    Five P&O cruise ships have created a V-formation

Los Angeles to Host Annual 'Fleet Week'

Mayor Eric Garcetti and U.S. Navy officials announced today that Los Angeles has been selected as an official Fleet Week market for the U.S. Navy, beginning in 2016.

Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pipelines Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1825 sec (5 req/sec)