Animatronic Audiovisual Control System (AACS)

Audio, Video, Lighting & Motion Control for Animatronics Shows and Audiovisual Installations.

The Animatronic Audiovisual Control System is a robust, flexible, intuitive and economical solution for the synchronization, control and automation of lighting, sound, video and movements in audiovisual shows and installations. In a context of increasing technical complexity, our technological challenge has been to achieve agility, precision and stability in the operations of programming and continuous execution of audiovisual shows and animatronics, through the integration of different technologies and communication protocols.

The Animatronic Audiovisual Control System unit has been developed by the CPOH group (ai2-UP) with the aim of satisfying the most demanding technical requirements of stability and operational precision, typical of the entertainment industry and large-format audiovisual shows. All this, by means of a simplified and agile programming of the scenes, without renouncing to a high scalability and customization of the system.

The AACS Automatic Control System is oriented to any show or audiovisual installation that needs to synchronize lighting programming, movement automation, multichannel audio distribution, video signals in different resolutions and communication with Programmable Logic Controllers (widely used in the automation of industrial processes). Oriented to connect creative professionals and audiovisual companies with their audiences in a robust, efficient and cost-effective way:

Animatronics Control – Audiovisual Programming – Permanent or semi-permanent installations – Theme Parks – Museums – Architectural Lighting – Art – Interactive Media – Outdoor audiovisual shows. Performance Robust

The entire system has been developed with the aim of achieving a stable and robust technological integration of all hardware-software components. The operational efficiency of the software it houses, as well as the quality of the components guarantee a powerful, fast and precise optimization in the execution of audio, lighting, video and movement programming. Economical The Control System reduces costs and technical requirements, as it does away with the need for a sound desk, lighting desk, external synchronizers, video players or additional software for communication with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). All programming is done from the same Control System, reducing to the maximum the cost of controlling separately lighting, sound, video, automation of movements and communication with PLCs. By simplifying the way the unit is programmed, workflows are streamlined, increasing overall productivity and increasing the economic profitability of each project.

The same software, Ableton Live, allows to control and synchronize through time line programming in a simple way: lighting, sound, video, motion automation and animatronics.  The entire control system is managed through touch devices. The owner can implement the desired functions and allow different degrees of accessibility to the programming or playback system. Also the manipulation of the operating system and the use of peripheral ports is inhibited in order to avoid unwanted manipulations by the operators. The interface design is also made exclusively for the customer.

A high performance UPS protects and distributes power to the different devices and components. After pressing the power button, the unit is idle and waits for the programming to be executed. The operator activates a play/stop via the touch screen. The Control System shuts down automatically and safely after the exit/close command.

The Control System is modular and scalable. It allows to expand the number of audio inputs and outputs by means of different sound cards with multiple communication and audio transmission ports. The lighting control can be increased in several DMX universes in a simple way by means of additional modules. It is also possible to expand the management of multiple video outputs for the creation of multiscreen shows or videomapping. The Control System is fully synchronizable as master or slave to other audiovisual systems through different communication protocols; MIDI TC, SMTE, UDP, Ethernet, so two or more Control Systems can work in parallel synchronized with each other and located in different locations. The Control System can be programmed and controlled remotely with PC or iOS or Android mobile devices. The accessibility for programming and for checking its status, makes it easy to maintain without the need to travel to the location where it is located, since remote management via the Internet is possible. System Programming The programming of the different scenes is done on a timeline with an intuitive and robust software: Ableton Live. This is one of the most widely used tools available on the market and there is extensive documentation that allows the programmer to access relevant information easily. Video programming and control The video synchronized with the rest of the lighting scenes, audio, movement automations and animatronics is managed directly on the timeline. Multiple video outputs can be controlled using multiscreen techniques to form a single image with multiple video projectors or multiscreen systems. Programming and lighting control The basic configuration of the Control System allows programming up to 512 DMX channels. The programming of this software is intuitive, robust, supports MIDI controllers and includes oscillators that can be synchronized to audio inputs or to the tempo of the sessions. Through an advanced configuration it is possible to control several DMX universes by expanding the number of channels to be controlled. Programming and sound control Multi-channel audio management is easy, flexible and powerful. Ableton Live allows working with multiple audio formats, using real-time effects, equalizers, delayers and compressors for optimized playback in audio systems of all kinds. The automation of volume curves and editing is also easy, as is the routing of signals to the various physical outputs of the system. In the basic configuration, up to 20 audio inputs and outputs are available. Communication with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) By converting multiple communication protocols (ARTNET, MIDI, DMX, UDP, OSC) the different parameters and outputs of the Control System are controlled to PLCs, computers used in industrial engineering to automate electromechanical processes, such as the control of machinery in assembly line factories or mechanical attractions. A PLC is a small computer optimized to provide robust performance in an industrial environment. In its essence, a PLC receives signals from digital and analog sensors (inputs), reads its control program, or the one it receives from our Control System, does mathematical calculations, and as a result controls different types of hardware (outputs), such as valves, lights, relays, servomotors, etc. With these Programmable Logic Controllers, the possibilities of automation of mobile elements within the scenographies, such as articulated doll limbs, character mouths, etc., are greatly expanded. All this can be synchronized with songs performed by the characters or with choreography programming within an audiovisual narrative. The programming of all the movements and actuations of the different devices controlled by PLCs is done in timeline with Ableton Live together with the video, sound and lighting automations. All the external control potential offered by Ableton Live from mobile devices, control surfaces and Midi instruments, is thus incorporated into the control and programming of movements and animatronics.

More information here —> AACS Brochure