Bot & Dolly's Box takes CG into the real world (video)

Bot & Dolly's Box takes CG into the real world video

Remember Bot & Dolly's awesome Kinetisphere from Google I/O 2012? Today the San Francisco-based design and engineering studio released Box, a film of the first ever synchronized live performance featuring projected 3D computer graphics, robots and actors. Imagine two Kuka industrial robots moving walls around and a projector displaying CG onto them in complete sync. Add a second projector aimed at the floor. Now introduce an actor and capture the entire scene with a 4K camera mounted on a third Kuka robot in sync with the other two. The result is a mind-blowing experience that takes CG into the real world. Flat walls transform in to 3D cubes, objects levitate and teleport -- it's magic.

In fact, it's even more impressive in person. The company believes that "this methodology has tremendous potential to radically transform theatrical presentations". We briefly talked with Tarik Abdel-Gawad, Creative & Technical Director and Bradley G Munkowitz, Design Director (of Tron fame) about the technology behind the performance. The project uses two IRIS and one SCOUT robotic motion control platforms (based on Kuka robots) plus two powerful high-resolution projectors. Bot & Dolly's in-house software, which integrates with Autodesk's Maya, is used to synchronize and control the performance. As such, the work serves "as both an artistic statement and technical demonstration." See the video for yourself after the break.

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Bot & Dolly Releases "Box," a Live Performance Film
The film documents a first ever live synchronized performance using
3D Projection Mapping, Robots and Actors

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September, 24, 2013) - Magicians don't typically reveal the secret behind their illusions. But that is precisely the purpose and the reward of watching Box, a film released today by Bot & Dolly. The robot-centric design and engineering company produced this artistic piece to document new projection mapping capabilities that will tear down the fourth wall in theatrical productions. Box is now available for viewing in conjunction with The Creators Project at

In Box, a single performer interacts with a transforming environment. As the film begins, a flat wall balanced on stage magically morphs into an open cube. From there, we witness a world where graphic forms literally appear in physical space. This is a world where levitation is possible, where light and shadows blend to create mind-bending shapes before your eyes and floating polygons teleport across the stage. In a final display of this impossible reality, the performer exits through what seems like a portal into another dimension. Each illusion is a synthesis of real and digital space.

"Bot & Dolly's kinematic projection platform makes it possible to synchronize projection with moving objects," says Tarik Abdel-Gawad, Creative Director. "Through large-scale robotics, projection mapping and software engineering, audiences will witness the trompe l'oeil effect pushed to new boundaries. We believe this methodology has powerful applications in a wide range of fields and we're excited to push it even further."

Box reveals the secret to each mesmerizing technique. As the film unfolds, it gradually unveils the robotic mechanism hidden behind every illusion.

Bot & Dolly ( is a design and engineering studio that specializes in automation, robotics and filmmaking. Their technology places sophisticated robotics at your command-robots that breathe life into creative endeavors. Designed to control more than just camera movement, these robots can move lights, actors and set pieces with ever-repeatable motion. This precision allows the virtual and physical worlds to unite and CG elements to match in real time. Bot & Dolly's technology can vastly improve every director's shot vocabulary -instantly and intuitively. Not limited to film, their motion control advances have applications in live performance, experiential installations, manufacturing and architecture.