Stage automation for the Blue Man Group at the Monte Carlo, Las Vegas.
The creative team at the Blue Man Group sought out Bot & Dolly as a technology partner for a refresh of the Group’s long-running show at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
The envisioned concept had the Blue Men interacting with a cheeky pair of industrial welding robots.
Going into the project, we had the software stack to provide character animation for industrial robots, and to help the robots “hit their cues” given precise timing requirements (drumming sequences) and unpredictable human performances.
Unique challenges here included close proximity of the robots and performers; integration with other stage automation elements; and maintenance and support of a show designed to run nightly for years.
For safe human-robot collaboration we integrated multiple safety systems. Among them were “safe workspaces” (configurable by show designers in our 3D software, implemented with redundant encoders), state machines triggered by pressure-sensitive mats, and emergency stops accessible to both performers and crew.
The brilliant folks at TAIT handled the other stage automation elements. We developed intercommunication at the necessary interfaces, using simple relays and digital logic.
For long-term support, we specified and integrated the same industrial-grade hardware that runs on real automotive assembly lines: Beckhoff PLCs, Kuka robots, Schunk grippers, and industrial cabling.