new media concepts

The secret to Oceaneering’s trackless technology

Under the Hood

Under the Hood

The secret to Oceaneering’s trackless technology

by Matt Kent & Caroline van der Weijden, Oceaneering Global Marketing and Communications

Whether or not you have heard of automated guided vehicles (AGVs), chances are you have already seen them in action. Think of familiar innovations like the disc-shaped robotic vacuum cleaners that zigzag around one’s home, or the self-driving cars that are currently being tested in nine U.S. states. It’s all got to do with AGV technology. Simply put, AGVs are intelligent vehicles that follow a predetermined path based on a combination of software and passive markers, lasers, global positioning systems (GPS), vision aids (cameras) or guide tape for navigation. The AGV industry has been evolving since the 1950s, and, today, these vehicles are used in many industries to transport goods, materials, and even people.
ABOVE PHOTO: Dave Mauck and Bill Bunting answer questions about the Revolution™ Tru-Trackless™ ride system at the 2014 TEA Summit
Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES), well known as a dark-ride provider to the theme park industry, is a division of Oceaneering International, Inc. a custom engineering firm that is pushing boundaries and endeavoring to create a safer and more intelligent future in various industries. In 2014, OES was honored with a Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Thea Award for the breakthrough technology driving its motion base, trackless theme park ride: the REVOLUTION™ Tru-Trackless™ Dark Ride System. The details of this technology have been less well known – until now. For the first time, Oceaneering has agreed to reveal what makes the trackless capabilities of the REVOLUTION system possible and to share the story of what’s “under the hood.”
Origins of Oceaneering AGV Systems
In 1984, three young graduates of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands embarked on a new business startup, called Frog AGV Systems. These entrepreneurs had a promising idea: to apply ‘dead-reckoning’ navigation technology to create autonomous vehicles. They were pioneers in the development of this new method to combine vehicles with automated logistics, without a driver and without a set track or visible path. These young innovators worked tirelessly to evolve AGV capabilities and identify new target markets. In 1988, only four years later, their work attracted the attention of another tech innovator (we can’t divulge the name, but it was named after a fruit), which hired Frog AGV Systems to upgrade the company’s warehousing logistics. In the ensuing years, the AGV technology evolved, becoming more and more state-of-the-art, and carrying heavier and larger loads, while using a range of navigation techniques and performing with increasing precision.
The safety of the AGV system (next to its intelligence, reliability, and high-end technical performance) made it possible to extend its usability in creative ways. Over time it also became more cost-effective. Today AGV systems are more affordable today than ever, and relied upon to support productivity, flexibility and stability in multiple applications. Frog AGV Systems has installed projects globally across diverse markets, including automotive factories, hospitals, warehouse automation, metals manufacturing and processing, container ports, electronics, plastics, and – last, but not least – theme parks.
In 2013, Oceaneering acquired the small Netherlands-based company, which enabled combining Frog’s refined AGV technologies with existing Oceaneering products. OES jumped at the opportunity to work with the new Oceaneering AGV Systems group in developing OES’s very first trackless-ride vehicle, which gained immediate acclaim in the theme park industry and led to its first installations as well as the aforementioned Thea Award. The proprietary Oceaneering REVOLUTION™ Tru-Trackless™ system has been used in several unique attractions, and, with the benefit of the Oceaneering shared services model, continues to benefit from evolving technologies and methods.
Moving your audience
AGVs require the use of some critical technologies: fast-recharging battery power, Wi-Fi, and load-bearing mechanical capabilities. The AGV products that Oceaneering offers are modular, in that each unit can be outfitted for multiple applications. Oceaneering AGVs are designed to lift or pull small, light loads (such as cardboard, metal boxes or plastic totes), as well as extremely heavy loads (such as cars, containers and bulldozers). As an example of a real-world application, at the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, enormous diesel-powered and driverless trucks use Oceaneering AGV technology to move huge shipping containers around the port. It was this kind of large-scale, proven application that enabled OES to apply heavy-cargo lessons-learned to a recent, high-profile theme park project that uses the AGV technology on an enormous ride vehicle that seats several dozen passengers. That critical synergy and application sharing made possible the success of the project.
“One of the things I tell our customers is that when you hire Oceaneering Entertainment Systems for your crazy new, never-been-done-before project, you are hiring Oceaneering International,” says Bill Bunting, Director of Business Development for OES. “That we operate on a shared services model means that our customers’ projects benefit from access to the unparalleled knowledge base developed across multiple divisions, with multiple applications experience, and more than 50 years of experience creating custom solutions for the harshest environments known to humankind. Deep water, space, military, and yes, even theme parks!”
The Oceaneering shared services model is the secret to the success of the company’s OES and Oceaneering AGV Systems divisions. As the innovators of safe and reliable systems in a multitude of industries encompassing land, sea and space, Oceaneering looks to the dreamers for inspiration on how to make the world a better, safer place. Often working behind the scenes (such as enhancing the automated factories around the world that build the cars we drive, providing exciting ride experiences in theme park attractions that thrill and enchant, or supporting the exploration of the infinite reaches of space), Oceaneering is there. Our slogan is – Oceaneering: Connecting What’s Needed with What’s Next.™ • • •

matt-kentcaroline-van-der-weijdenMatt Kent and Caroline van der Weijden are part of Oceaneering Global Marketing and Communications

Wanda Cultural Tourism City , Nanchang uses Alcorn McBride

Wanda Cultural Tourism City Opens in Nanchang, China with Alcorn McBride

The Wanda Cultural Tourism City complex has opened in Nanchang, China.  Spanning two square kilometers and boasting a theme park, movie park, aquarium, hotels and retail stores, it is expected to attract 10 million visitors a year to the southeastern Chinese city.
The Wanda Cultural Tourism City complex has opened in Nanchang, China.  Spanning two square kilometers and boasting a theme park, movie park, aquarium, hotels and retail stores, it is expected to attract 10 million visitors a year to the southeastern Chinese city.
The Flying Theater and Interactive Theater in the Wanda Movie Park and the Domed Theater in the Wanda Aquarium feature Alcorn McBride A/V, lighting and show control equipment.  The gear was provided by Beijing-based Wincomm, a company with more than 20 years experience in professional A/V distribution and installation.  Wincomm is an Alcorn McBride technology partner and past recipient of Alcorn McBride's Distributor of the Year Award.
Wincomm had previously selected Alcorn McBride gear for the Wanda Movie Park in Wuhan, China in 2013.  The equipment's reliability, stability and ease of use at that venue made it the logical choice for the new Wanda project in Nanchang.  
The Flying Theater, which features a flight simulation experience, uses two Alcorn McBride V16Pro show controllers and two ShowTouch 10 touch panels in its two main halls.  One V16Pro synchronizes A/V systems, the lighting system and a large-scale motion platform for the 72-person simulator.  The second V16Pro and ShowTouch, working with Alcorn McBride's LightCue Pro, control the lighting system of the main show halls, pre-show and queue area.  The Flying Theater also uses an Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop HD and an Alcorn McBride 8TraXX, both installed for the theater's pre-show and queue areas.
The Interactive Theater is a dark ride with multiple 3D interactive shooting games.  A V16Pro controls audio, video, lighting, projectors and monitors in the attraction and communicates with the games' shooting system.  An A/V Binloop HD plays the video in the pre-show area and safety instructions in the queue area.  A dedicated 8TraXX handles background music.
Two LightCue Pro's control the general lighting and specialty lights in the theater.  A ShowTouch10 touch panel in the rack enables operators to monitor the video and projection systems and control the A/V and lighting systems.
Another V16Pro controls several laser projectors and media playback servers in the The Domed Theater.  Visitors are immersed in a 360º 12-meter screen, which showcases deep-sea exploration from a panoramic perspective.
About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications.  Staffed by some of the industry's best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market.  A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design.  The company's products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide.  For more information, visit 

AV Binloop Uncompressed Drop Test

Hunter at Alcorn McBride explains the difference between a solid state Binloop Uncompressed video server and PC based systems from other manufacturers. No need to say more after you've watched the video!

Alcorn McBride prefaces ISE with two product launches

Alcorn McBride prefaces ISE with two product launches

Duncan Proctor 2 February 2016
Alcorn McBride v_16_pro_
Alcorn McBride has announced the launch of its VPage Dante PA station and the official release of WinScript Live 4.0 show control software.
VPage provides theme park attractions, museums, arenas and transportation systems with facility-wide intelligent paging using Dante audio networks.
The configuration of paging networks, such as Q-Sys, is programmable using the software in the VPage DSP system. This includes zone assignments, button and light behaviours, and zone priorities. Each VPage station features user-programmable buttons, microphone input and level control.
A single Ethernet cable carries audio, power and control between the VPage station and the equipment rack. A facility may incorporate an unlimited number of VPage stations by simply connecting them to PoE-enabled network switches.
VPage is available in three models, the VP4 model is a four-button station with a 5-pin XLR connector and a mounting bracket for a push-to-talk coiled cord dynamic microphone. The VP4G model can be used with an externally-mounted gooseneck mic with a separate (or integrated) push-to-talk switch. Both of these models mount in a standard 4-gang box.
The VP16PCB model consists of a circuit board that is designed to mount on a standard DIN rail. It offers the ability to easily wire up to 16 LED-illuminated buttons so that installers can create their own custom PA stations.
The second announcement is the release of the new WinScript Live 4.0 software for Alcorn McBride’s V16 Pro, V4 Pro and VCore show controllers. The software update includes a new built-in touch panel editor, which allows users to create customised interfaces for ShowTouch enabled devices to add touch panel capability to Alcorn McBride show control systems. These touch panel hardware options include hard-wired ShowTouch panels (available in 7in, 10in and 17in), Apple iOS devices, and PC platforms.
Other significant improvements include colour-coded logging, streamlined editing tools, new colour schemes, and the expansion of our product library to support control of hundreds of third-party devices. WinScript Live 4.0 is available as a free download for both PC and Mac (BETA) platforms.
Stand: 1-N95

Alcorn McBride exhibiting at ISE2016

Alcorn McBride at ISE2016
Alcorn McBride at ISE2016

Alcorn McBride 30th Anniversary

2016 – A Special Year for Alcorn McBride

This year will mark a very special moment for Alcorn McBride, when on March 1st we celebrate our 30th anniversary, a remarkable accomplishment for any company, and especially for an American audio video manufacturer.
It’s fun to reflect on the tens of thousands of products we’ve produced in that time, and especially fun to take a peek at where it all started, in my spare room in 1986:
1986 alcornmcbrideatrydercup
Our products (and our computers!) have changed a lot in 30 years (had Ethernet even been invented yet?) But one thing that hasn’t changed is our total dedication to product support. In fact, we still support products we made back then! I’m proud of the amazing staff that makes that possible, and excited to share this special year with them. Here’s to many more!

Steve Alcorn

Alcorn McBride provides show control for Orlando Eye observation wheel

Alcorn McBride - Orlando Eye
The Orlando Eye observation wheel has recently opened as part of the I-Drive 360 dining and entertainment destination with Alcorn McBride show control and AV playback products utilised for the pre-show.
The giant Ferris wheel, located on International Drive in Orlando, is nearly 30m taller than the Statue of Liberty allowing visitors to see the sights of Orlando and Central Florida from air-conditioned capsules.
Before they board the Orlando Eye guests enjoy ‘The Dream Wheel’ 4D theatre experience, a passive stereo 3D video by Acomb Ostendorf & Associates, who also created the 4D theatre facility, which fits 150 visitors at a time. The content showcases 3D aerial footage of Central Florida with the additional sensory experiences of fireworks, lighting effects, and scent. Pro Sound & Video, Orlando selected Alcorn McBride show control and AV playback products for the pre-show having frequently used Alcorn McBride equipment for projects at the area’s major theme parks.
“With a number of pre-show screenings every day throughout the year we needed equipment that was up to the task,” said Pro Sound & Video president, Kelly Prince. “We needed reliability and proven solid state playback; that is Alcorn McBride.”
Orlando Eye - Alcorn McBride show control
An Alcorn McBride V16Pro was chosen for its frame-accurate show control with 16 I/O. “It was important that the V16Pro has a timeline feature,” added Don Davis, project engineer at Pro Sound & Video. “The show controller drives the 4D effects which have to hit at a certain frame each and every time.”
The V16Pro also starts and stops the pre-show, opens and closes the theatre doors and performs certain maintenance functions. It features a ShowTouch10 interface at the rear of the theatre for easy operation. “Ease of use was a big consideration,” noted Prince. “We tried to make the ShowTouch button panel layout fairly simple and we built out more advanced features of the maintenance pages.”
An Alcorn McBride AV Binloop HD eight-channel synchronous audio and video player was chosen to play back the pre-show content.
A LightCue-E, DMX recorder/player with Ethernet, controls plays back sequences for the DMX-controllable fans providing 4D wind effects during the pre-show. It also handles the dimming and raising of the house lights. Alcorn McBride’s IO64, which is often used as an input/output expander, serves here as a standalone show controller triggering the 4D scent and mist effects.

New Alcorn McBride Products Debut At IAAPA 2015

Alcorn McBride will unveil two new products in Booth #453 at IAAPA 2015, November 17-20 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.  Making their debut are A/V Binloop Uncompressed and the innovative new ShowWatcher app for Apple Watch; also in the spotlight are Alcorn McBride's DVM8500-AB Digital Video Machine HD and the AmpTraXX 16-channel amplifier with DSP.
Alcorn McBride will unveil two new products in Booth #453 at IAAPA 2015, November 17-20, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.  Making their debut are A/V Binloop Uncompressed and the innovative new ShowWatcher app for Apple Watch; also in the spotlight are Alcorn McBride's DVM8500-AB Digital Video Machine HD and the AmpTraXX 16-channel amplifier with DSP.
The new A/V Binloop Uncompressed synchronized video player combines Alcorn McBride's signature rock solid performance with the ability to play content at the highest possible quality.  It's the perfect solution for video wall and blended projection applications because it eliminates the loss of quality due to stretching commonly seen in traditional video wall controllers or video processors.  And for large applications, it's easy to sync multiple units using the product's Genlock input feature.
The versatile A/V Binloop Uncompressed provides up to 8 channels of 2K (2048x1080) or up to 2 channels of 4K (4096x2160) high-quality, uncompressed video playback.  These channels can be played independently from one another or grouped together for frame-accurate synchronous playback.  There are no hard drives; simple removable SSD drives store the video content.  A/V Binloop Uncompressed can also play back uncompressed frame files with a quality as high as 4:4:4 10-bit at a rate up to 60fps.   It ships this summer.
Also new at IAAPA is ShowWatcher, an innovative app that allows users to program up to 32 buttons to control Alcorn McBride show control, audio, video or lighting control products (or other devices that accept UDP commands) and then trigger them remotely from an Apple Watch for operational or maintenance purposes.
ShowWatcher works particularly well with Alcorn McBride's Pro-Series Show Controllers. These embedded controllers feature an abundance of serial ports, dual Ethernet ports, linear timecode, real-time clock schedule and a rock solid multi-tasking operating system.
Also in the spotlight at IAAPA is the DVM8500-AB, the ultimate HD video player in an extremely compact and reliable form. The latest model in the Digital Video Machine family, it offers full HD 1080p resolution and features a built-in 25W x 2 audio amplifier and DSP, so using this single product to feed flat-panel kiosk displays and high-quality speakers means there's no need for a separate DSP and amplifier - a real time and money saver.
The DVM8500-AB offers a variety of control options - Ethernet, RS-232, playlists, scheduling, GPS, contact/voltage inputs - and video outputs - composite, component and HDMI, so it's the perfect HD video playback source for interactive kiosks, museum exhibits, digital signage and tour vehicles.  The new Digital Video Machine HD is shipping now.
​IAAPA visitors will also want to check out AmpTraXX, which is especially designed for theme park ride vehicles, multi-lingual transportation systems and tour buses.  The compact, energy-efficient chassis packs 400W RMS into 16 channels of amplification and DSP.   It's the perfect companion to Alcorn McBride's RideTraXX 16-channel solid-state playback system.
Each AmpTraXX channel can provide up to 25W into 8 ohms and independent DSP capability, including a 9-band EQ, dynamic range and compression control, as well as gain and stereo/mono mixing capability.  Channel pairs can also be bridged to provide 50W operation if more power is required.  The system is programmed with user-friendly software included with each unit and is shipping now.
About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications.  Staffed by some of the industry's best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market.  A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design.  The company's products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide.  For more information, visit 

Alcorn McBride at EAS2015

Alcorn McBride will be at EAS 2015 in Göteborg.

Scott Harkless , Alcorn MBrides Sales director and  John Sormani , from  European distributor New Media Concepts will be present at the European Attractions Show from 6 to 8 October , taking place in Göteborg , Sweden. If you want to discuss your your audiovisual or showcontrol needs for your next themepark project, or just want to chat and have a drink  with us , please send a message to set up a meeting. 

Harry Potter: the making of Diagonal Alley

Harry Potter :the making of Diagonal Alley
Here is a nice 42 minute documentary about the latest attraction at Universal Studios Orlando.
Lots of behind the scenes material . Enjoy,