Shotoku Broadcast Systems Hits the Heights with Graphica, a New Series of VR/AR Tracked Camera Cranes, at IBC 2017

IBC Stand 12.E42

Amsterdam, The NetherlandsShotoku Broadcast Systems, the well-established leader in manual and robotic camera support, and virtual reality tracking, is introducing the European market to Graphica, its latest series of manual virtual / augmented reality (VR / AR) tracked camera cranesat IBC 2017. The series is the result of a partnership with well-established crane manufacturer CamMate, known for its quality of engineering. The company will also showcase its ‘Smart’ solutions: the SmartPed fully robotic XY pedestal, and the SmartTrack ceiling mounted rail camera system; and the popular Free-d2 a next-gen VR/AR tracking system.


Graphica Series

The Graphica Series blends the company’s superb camera position-tracking technology with the engineering know-how of prestigious crane maker, CamMate. The result is a range of manual VR / AR tracked camera cranes with industry-leading tracking capabilities in a portable package that is scalable, stable and, most importantly, repeatable. Graphica calculates positional data output from embedded physical rotary encoders designed specifically for VR applications. Free of the jitters, external markers, and area limitations often associated with other positional tracking systems, Shotoku encoders seamlessly process data via the SPI interface to provide real-time data output, in the studio or on location.

The SPi-Touch origin reset and 2-Point calibration function adds another level of convenience and high production flexibility. A true set-and-forget system, complete calibration is needed only once and can be achieved in 20 seconds. SPi-Touch comes standard on every model.

Suitable for all types of production, 7 models of varying lengths are available to create dynamic camerawork in the smallest studios or the largest of outdoor sporting events. Custom-made carry cases for easy transport are included with every purchase.

"Graphica rounds-out our VR range and is the perfect solution for VR/AR applications ranging from studio use to outdoor events,” said Tony Hanada, managing director of Shotoku Corporation. “The series represents the best of CamMate, a respected manufacturer known for its dedication to quality performance, and Shotoku, an acknowledged leader in camera and VR/AR support. Graphica allows customers and integrators to source any VR tracking solution from Shotoku, and provide them with the most advanced and reliable technology available.”


External Control Interface (ECI) Automation Interface for TR-XT *

IBC will see an elevated level of control when Shotoku unveils an enhanced version of its ECI for the Company’s flagship TR-XT robotic camera control system. Building on the TR-XT’s advanced features and flexibility including pre-set shot recall functionality, the unit now supports full joystick trim control to adjust and restore the pre-sets as necessary, from the automation system or vision switcher panel itself.

This additional external control also allows shots to be trimmed on-air without the need for a dedicated camera operator via the automation system. The enhanced ECI provides an interface for Facility Management and Control Systems (FMCS) enabling a TR-XT to be reconfigured remotely as well.

* See separate press release with further detail regarding Enhanced ECI Automation Interface in Press Kit

Highlights – Shotoku’s “Smart” Solutions

SmartPed Robotic Pedestal

The company is also showcasing its SmartPed Robotic Pedestal,a fully robotic XY pedestal launched in 2016 and already embraced by some of the world’s most prominent broadcasting organizations. SmartPed addresses the creative and commercial demands of on-air environments with a cost-efficient and high-performance solution. The three wheel smooth-steer pedestal features a new height column without any need of pneumatic balancing, multi-zone collision avoidance and detection systems, and precision-engineered, electro-mechanical steer/drive system for unparalleled levels of performance and reliability. SmartPed offers instant switchover between local/remote operation, which makes the pedestal versatile and easily operated in any application. No re-reference or calibration is ever required when switching between these modes and a pan-bar mounted local joystick enables easy control from the studio floor as necessary. Intended specifically for use in demanding, high-profile live TV productions day after day, the SmartPed design has reliability and ease of use built-in from the start. 


Shotoku continues its “hit the heights” theme with the demonstration of the SmartTrack rail camera system, including full elevation control. SmartTrack provides the amazing camera control that can really only be achieved with a ceiling mounted track / elevation system. SmartTrack’s extremely successful installation in the unique “Glass Box” studio at Sky News UK offers proof of the high-end trackbased system’s truly revolutionary capabilities.

VR/AR Tracking

Free-d2 Absolute Tracking System

The company is also showing its Free-d2 Absolute Tracking System, a next-generation tracking system that does not require physical encoder devices attached to the camera support’s moving axes. The Free-d2 system, which is ideal for VR/AR news, sports and current affairs live studio productions, uses advanced video processing algorithms and simple ceiling markers to precisely determine the exact position and orientation of the studio camera, thus providing highly accurate and constantly referenced (absolute) position tracking. No concept of a home or reference point exists for Free-d2 — wherever the camera is positioned is immediately known. The tracking data never drifts regardless of the number of moves or hours of operation. 

Shotoku’s range of pedestals, height drives, pan/tilt heads and control systems for live studio productions in traditional or VR/AR applications are on display as well.


About Shotoku:

Shotoku Broadcast Systems is an international leader in the manufacture and marketing of a full range of camera support products with emphasis on manual and robotic pedestals and pan/tilt heads for the television broadcast industry. The Company also provides robotic camera systems capable of interfacing with third-party equipment. Established as an engineering design firm specializing in advanced mechanics and electronic control systems, Shotoku maintains headquarters in Japan with sales offices around the world and robotics development HQ in Sunbury-on-Thames, UK. For further information:

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