Jaded theme park aficionados looking for a new thrill will want to get along to the Innoventions pavilion in Epcot at Disney World, Florida, to experience The Sun of All Thrills. On display will be the new KUKA RoboSim 4-D Simulator, a robotic ride that not only puts thrill-seekers at the mercy of a 3-D motion robotic arm, but also adds “wind” by controlling air movements to provide a more realistic simulation experience.
The two-seat simulator immerses riders in a spherical carbon-fiber hood that delivers high definition video combined with stereo sound and controlled air motion for a ride that involves high speeds, quick directional changes and different climates. It integrates the KUKA RoboCoaster programmable robotic ride system, which utilizes six axes and six degrees of total directional freedom synchronized with the “under the hood” entertainment. The hood doesn’t fully enclose riders, but leaves their legs and feet uncovered and suspended in mid-air to add an extra touch of disorientation.
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Even though you’re looking for a thrill it’s nice to know the RoboSim 4-D Simulator is TÜV certified and includes safety devices such as smoke alarms and temperature monitoring. Video cameras and microphones allow RoboSim operators to constantly monitor passengers, so if you wet your pants they’ll know all about it.
This isn’t the first time German company KUKA, which is well known for its industrial robots such as the KR 30 HA and KR 40 PA, has tried its hand at robotic theme park rides. In 2006 we looked at an interactive ride developed for Canada’s Primal Rides built around the company’s KR 500 robot. But it looks like KUKA has taken the idea to a new level with the RoboSim 4-D Simulator.
The attraction opens to the public from October 14, 2009.