Commercials for Adidas, Under Armour, and others.
The rigidity and high gear ratios of an industrial robot, relative to other motion control rigs available at the time, made Bot & Dolly’s motion control solution an attractive option for super dynamic, high-acceleration camera moves, especially when coupled with slow motion photography.
This gave us the opportunity to do television commercial work for Adidas, UnderArmour, and others.
Our smallest, quickest robot, the Kuka KR-6, paired with an external linear axis, made for a speedy little rig with a significant working envelope. Besides motion control of the camera, we could also drive shutter, focus, iris, zoom, and digital I/O. For high-speed shoots, we’d interface with a Phantom camera capable of shooting at thousands of frames per second.
Depending on the job, we would sometimes be involved early in pre-production, supporting previs and techvis. On set, we acted as rig operators, managing safety, metadata, and ad hoc changes to the motion control profiles.
This work relied on a suite of tools that I and others built over the course of the company’s lifetime. As the tools matured, each shoot got a bit easier. Though, admittedly, we still had a ways to go to make this a high-volume line of business.