Capturing a complex TV commercial with Arduino
Ever wonder how studios like Oslo-based Flambert get perfectly timed (and complex) shots of “disasters,” such as the destruction of a birthday party setting seen in the Coop Obs! commercial below?
While the moving camera position was handled by a robotic arm, food jumping off of the table is coordinated by a series of 18 pneumatic actuators controlled by an Arduino.
The pneumatic equipment is cleverly concealed by a tablecloth, making the food appear to fly off the table with no trigger other than the hostess of the party initially slipping. Another clever innovation was making the table with two interchangeable tops, so one could be set up while the other was being shot, saving a huge amount of time during filming.
“We decided to build a table consisting of high-pressure valves with nine individual triggers and 18 air pressure points that could shoot items into the air with extreme precision. We recommended a combination of high-speed camera movements and triggers to set off and capture the chaos. All this was controlled by an Arduino unit, that again was controlled by a motion-controlled robot.”