About Bayerischer Rundfunk

Bayerischer Rundfunk is a public-service radio and television broadcaster, based in Munich, Germany. In 2017 the company had to refresh the BR News-formats, as well as the studio itself, which involved upgrading the studio to HD. Using this as a platform to upgrade their studio technology, they decided to incorporate robotics and automation into their workflow building on the many years of experience they have had using camera robotics in their studios. The Studiobot was already proven in other studios of the ARD (SWR and NDR), and so they decided to add a Studiobot together with Shotoku. The Studiobot is fixed on a defined position in the studio and does the main work for their news -broadcasting.  By automating the robotics and adapting the software, an optimal workflow has been created.


Use Case Overview

Bayerischer Rundfunk needed a reliable and precise studio system to broadcast their daily news, using a consistent quality and style. In order to drive efficiencies and create the repeatable shots they were looking for, they decided the studio footage should be automated. The Studiobot system was then installed in the centre of their news studio on the 3rd floor of the studio building in Munich-Freimann.

The Studiobot is used for different News-Formats (BR: Rundschau, BR24) and is always used in the live TX for broadcasting News. The system is used by different cameramen, every day during live shows, therefore automation could bring a consistent style of shot. As the cameraman has to operate the lighting, as well as the camera (they are called studio-operators as they manage a multitude of tasks), it was important to find a way of assisting them to manage the workflow during pressurised live broadcast conditions.  Thanks to the Studiobot, they only need to do some small adjustments in the live broadcast as many of the camera moves are pre-programmed.   The opening and end shots of the broadcast are completely produced through automation, meaning the Studio Operator can focus on the overall show production.

The Advantages of Automation

The Studiobot becomes the workhorse of their studio and enables the cameramen to preprogram high quality, reliable shots and so every day the same high quality standardised output is produced. The Studiobots consistent shots are pre-programmed into its software – ‘Robokam’.  The software brings the robot to life. The Softwares GUI provides a clear view for the operators in their everyday work to visualise the moves they want to create, as well as an extensive and powerful tool for the programmers to decide the shots that are to become automated. The studio operators creativity is captured once and can be repeated ad infinitum many times over, saving both time and money over the course of the show’s production.

“The Studiobot system provides precisely the same shots and camera movements, which is something that is not possible by human hand. The broadcast output, therefore, becomes reliable and so every day the same quality is produced. ”

Gerald Schäfer, Cameraman, Bayerischer Rundfunkspan