Two70 Room RoboScreen Theater

Royal Caribbean Quantum Class SmartShips

RoboScreens on custom retractable gantry in the Two70 multi-purpose entertainment lounge

Introduction:  andyRobot and his teams have worked with Royal Carribean to develop RoboScreen® installations for their Quantum class smartships starting in 2014 on the Quantum of the Seas and subsequently on the Anthem, Ovation, and Spectrum of the Seas. Odyssey of the Seas is planned to launch in the fall of 2020. The RoboScreens are installed in the Two70 Room, a multi-purpose lounge and entertainment room the provides a spectacular 270 degree ocean view with high tech entertainment features that include a live action stage for a cast of 18 performers, a 12K 115-foot by 23-foot high video screen and six RoboScreens powered by ABB® IRB 6620 robots with each holding a 100” video monitor.[1]

Artistic Design Objectives:  The objective for the Two70 room is to create an entirely new way to entertain guests. They do this by providing a flexible space that converts from a relaxing lounge style space to an immersive entertainment area for live performance, dancing, and RoboScreen entertainment performances. [2] During the day the space is a comfortable lounge area with couches, love seats, and oversized chairs. The ship library is located here and there is a closed off workshop style space designated for scrapbooking and other arts and crafts. In the evening the two story high windows are covered by blinds that double as video screens powered by 18 3D projectors that project a real-time image of the window view, so it looks as though nothing has changed.  

 

The design team’s goal was to use inspiration from avant garde theaters to create immersive experiences in a non traditional performance space. Traditional conventions of theater design are challenged with elements of the room transforming as the room changes from a lounge to a performance space. This transformation doesn’t require the passengers to move and elements of the lounge configuration are hidden while elements of the performance space are revealed. The goal is to give each member of the audience as close to a unique an experience as possible. For performances the projected image slowly changes to whatever backdrop, moving or static, that the performance requires.[3] Dividers lower into the floor and chandeliers retract into the ceiling. From the stage area, hidden lifts, trap doors and torpedo tubes allow actors, performers and musicians to seem to appear from nowhere.  The RoboScreens are mounted on a gantry behind the live performers and the robots are designed to be characters whose performances enhance those of the live performers.

RoboScreens on the Ovation of the Seas

Development and Implementation:  The development of the room required a staggering amount of coordination between the various expert integrators that collaborated on the project. Entirely new technologies had to be developed to realize the artistic design vision for the space. Challenges to be addressed in the development of the space included show control across all of the production elements and the impact of ship motion for a vessel at sea.[4]

 

andyRobot worked with Tsevas from RCI to develop the show control system that was required to coordinate how the industrial robots would interact with video as well as all the other show elements in a live performance context.[5] Among other tests, this is when the media servers feature of tracking the movement of all six ABB robots came to life. Tsevas says, “I always aim to design intuitive user interfaces for the end user,’ he says, “and take out of the equation the learning curve on how to operate the show system. All show control software functions and cues were created in a modular fashion to accommodate the rehearsals and any changes resulting in the ongoing creative process during production.” Jan Hüwel of coolux created the technology specifically for this application. He used the Pandora’s Box media server and the Widget Designer show control systems from coolux media systems. Pandora’s Box provides the tools for adjusting the image content in three dimensions in real time. Despite an extremely steep projection angle and the extremely short distance between the window façade and projectors, this so-called “warping” process makes it seem like a single projector is projecting on a flat cinema screen. After cleaning and maintenance the system was designed to recalibrate the projection elements to their original positions with millimeter accuracy. [6]

 

Another problem is that Two70 is a room that moves at sea. Magill says that, “Vibration is a major problem on cruise ships, where light bulbs can unscrew themselves, and chandeliers can sway just enough to provoke a bout of seasickness if not properly dampened.” This is particularly a problem for Two70 because it is located above the  powerplant for two of the Quantum’s thruster pods. This meant that the deck had to be heavily soundproofed and isolated from the vibration of the thrusters’ machinery. In addition, the giant glass panels had to withstand the impact of waves on the high seas, which is challenging from an engineering standpoint. “The venue itself is nothing short of spectacular.” says McLean, “and the gear is world class. Atmosphere provided us with 10 highresolution video images that portray a variety of things, from a woodland forest, to a waterfall, to a large open green meadow and several others. Thanks to Theo’s custom interface, the coolux interface is a dream to work with, and so user friendly we believe almost anyone could come in and quickly pickup the basics of running the system.”[7]

 

“It’s basically a big TV screen meets robot and has a baby,” he says of RoboScreen. “Now make it really gigantic and then make a theater based around that. That’s what Two70 is. With the RoboScreens designed to participate as characters in the show, they take a bow at the end of the show, and the audience is cheering for robots.  As andyRobot describes, “It’s absolutely ridiculous what we did on that ship. Robots had never gone on the deep ocean like this. It’s all new frontier. You’ve got to have the muscle of a Royal Caribbean to do that.”[4]

RoboScreens in the Two70 room on Quantum of the Seas

ABB Robotics Live with andyRobot from the Quantum of the Seas

References:

 

[1]  Anandan, T. (2017, July 26). Elevating The Art Of Entertainment – Robotically. Robotics Online. Retrieved December 14, 2019, from https://www.robotics.org/content-detail.cfm/Industrial-Robotics-Industry-Insights/Elevating-the-Art-of-Entertainment-Robotically/content_id/6654

 

[2] Princess, T. (2016, June 21). Top 6 Reasons To Visit Two7 On Anthem Of The Seas. EatSleepCruise.com. Retrieved January 6, 2020, from https://eatsleepcruise.com/2016/06/top-reasons-to-visit-two70-on-anthem-of-the-seas/

[3] Kalosh, A. (2014, October 28). First Look At The Quantum Lounge That Cost More Than Song Of Norway. Seatrade-cruise.com. Retrieved January 4, 2020, from https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news-headlines/first-look-quantum-lounge-cost-more-song-norway

 

[4] Robotics, A. (2014, December 24). World’s First Robotic Entertainment On The High Seas For Royal Caribbean International | RoboticsTomorrow. Roboticstomorrow.com. Retrieved January 4, 2020, from https://www.roboticstomorrow.com/article/2014/12/worlds-first-robotic-entertainment-on-the-high-seas-for-royal-caribbean-international/5267/

 

[5] Szondy, D. (2014, November 21). Behind The Scenes At Quantum Of The Seas’ Two70 Show. New Atlas. Retrieved January 4, 2020, from https://newatlas.com/quantum-of-the-seas-two70/34758/

[6] Wharton, M. (2015, October 13). INSTALLATIONS. DigitalEditionOnline.com. Retrieved January 6, 2020, from http://digitaleditiononline.com/article/INSTALLATIONS/2295371/276416/article.html

 

[7] Qsc.com staff (2016a, July 1). Ovation of the Seas - Mondodr. Qsc.com. Retrieved January 6, 2020, from https://www.qsc.com/resource-files/casestudies/q_cs_sys_ovationoftheseas_mondo.pdf

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