Company News

IBC 2012 & The Olympics Fully Covered

Picture taken with an SFH-30 robotic camera shows a general view of the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

MRMC AT IBC, Amsterdam 7-11 September
MRMC will be exhibiting again this year at IBC. Come and see us at stand 11.G35 and our technology will also be on display at the Nikon Europe stand (9.B14) on display and available for demo will be our ‘Polycam’ system.
Polycam is an IP-based robotic camera system that enables a primary point of interest to be tracked from multiple perspectives.
Designed to support multi-camera productions, Polycam can be controlled by a single operator or in conjunction with image analysis or statistical data systems.

System Benefits:

  • Enables automated, constant and fluid tracking of a point of interest through multiple perspectives.
  • Allows a single operator to offer a simultaneous multi-camera viewpoint.
  • IP-based architecture allowing for unrestricted operating distance and scalable configurations.
  • Potential to expand points of interest through integration with statistical and image analysis systems
  • Simplifies multi-camera set up
  • Reduced Production costs and overheads

For IBC Polycam will be displayed with Broadcast camera channels, broadcast lenses with digital servos, MRMC SFH-30 heads and control demonstrated via IP interfacing. MRMC staff will be on hand to discuss Polycam applications and any other motion control requirements.
Everyone is welcome to visit. We look forward to seeing you there.
Mark Roberts Motion Control were very proud to have been closely involved in the recent Olympic games in London, having been selected 8 months ago to be Nikon’s official robotic system supplier for the event. Together with Nikon UK and with additional requirements specified by Nikon’s professional press clients as well as LOCOG’s (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) press liaison and renowned award-winning sports photographer Bob Martin, MRMC set about manufacturing all the required robotic heads to capture the action for the various press agencies, including AFP – Associated French Press and Sports Illustrated.

MRMC used adapted SFH-30 Pan Tilt heads all running via ethernet, to provide units that only required one power cable and one ethernet cable to control all functions and power all facilities, including on each head, powering up to two Nikon D4 cameras, as well as video feeds and encoders, panning, tilting, zooming, rolling (to change from landscape to portrait shots), focus control, shutter trigger and internal camera functions. All with minimal latency or delays.

Overall, MRMC produced 17 heads for Nikon and it’s clients to use, including an underwater robotic head capable of carrying a D4 DSLR camera and lens, giving underwater control of the pan, tilt and zoom. The underwater head was produced with advice from renowned BBC Natural History Unit producer and film maker Neil Lucas whose work on David Attenborough’s wildlife series included many underwater features including timelapse filming of starfish moving under ice sheets.
With the exception of the underwater unit, the heads were mounted in the roofs of the various Olympic venues, or above the roof in the case of the main stadium. Then controlled remotely via ethernet, the heads allowed the press agencies to get fantastic shots from locations where it was not possible, for security or safety reasons, to have photographers.
The adapted SFH-30 heads worked continuously for over 2 weeks taking literally thousands of shots. As the shots were being taken by the photographers, they were almost instantly being uploaded to image sites such as Getty Images to be used by the press. The success of robotic heads at the Olympics was evidenced by the fact that 30-40% of the “Shots of the Day” chosen by the press as the best shots each day were taken by robotic heads. The interest in these motion control robotic heads for sports has been phenomenal for both stills and video. This was shown by the YouTube video Francios Xavier Marit, one of AFP’s award-winning photographers, created when he came to visit MRMC during construction of the heads. The video showing the staff at MRMC manufacturing and testing the units got 50,000 views within the first week alone. MRMC recently also produced a video showing one of the heads, a double unit carrying 2 cameras and lenses including a 200-400mm Nikkor lens, prior to installation, as well as some of the shots achieved with the robotic pan tilt units. The videos can seen here:


Remember everyone is welcome to become a member of the online motion control forum. It’s a great place to ask questions about motion control and how to get things done on set or off. We want to see this service get used as much as possible so join today:
T: 01342 838 000

Other News

Contact Us