Shotoku has announced a new IP navigation interface for its flagship SmartPed robotic pedestal, plus a self-contained and easy to connect pan/tilt head, and numerous enhancements to its TR-XT control system.
The Absolute Navigation system is for applications where referencing the fully robotic pedestal is inconvenient or the design of the studio leaves no scope for a fixed reference position. Users can choose between two additions depending on the environment: AN-I is an IP interface within SmartPed, enabling it to interface to existing external optical tracking systems, such as Mosys StarTracker or Stype RedSpy, using the absolute tracking information to reference and adjust the pedestals own internal navigation systems; while AN-S is a fully-integrated system, including built-in optical tracking.
The new TG-18i is the latest version of Shotoku’s TG-18 studio pan/tilt head, providing a fully integrated head with high payload and simple connectivity. All the key features which made the TG-18 successful remain - such as perfect motion and full manual override with fluid damping – all in a new self-contained package.
The TR-XT control system now gains: LiveView; Studio Zones; and full automation.
The LiveView option uses a secondary IP video camera to provide a wide-angle scene view for each camera, and enables operators to command heads to new positions simply by touching on a wide-angled live video view of the studio, smoothly repositioning the head towards the selected presenter, guest or other area of interest.
Studio Zones easily define areas within a studio into which cameras may or may not travel. Zones have a dynamic understanding of studio equipment to avoid no-go areas and potential collisions. In addition to each SmartPed’s on-board collision avoidance system, Studio Zones offers a higher level of control for the operator to ensure smooth and safe operation within the environment.
The TR-XT’s enhanced automation interfaces allow not just pre-set shot recall but full camera adjustment on-the-fly from external systems, including face-recognition and tracking systems.
Shotoku has also added a new carbon fibre EFP tripod to its manual support range. The SX200 and SX260 ENG/EFP pan and tilt heads incorporate a brand-new design featuring Shotoku’s Truebalance for perfect counterbalance that is also said to be easy to adjust throughout the range and has an intuitive display to indicate the current setting. The drag system uses Shotoku’s Viscam design but adds a new actuation system that combines the convenience and speed of selection of a stepped system with the fine tuning and on-shot adjustment of a continuously variable design.
The SX200 has a max payload of 20kg and the SX260 25kg. The systems come standard with two-stage ENG carbon fibre legs and are claimed to be among the lightest on the market at these payloads. A new TTH1002C 100mm carbon fibre EFP tripod has also been introduced to provide an extremely rigid base, useful when using longer lenses for sports and documentary production.