Remote Controlled Car for high-speed car chases and film camera platform
MoCo FX are the leading global Motion Control for Entertainment company.
Terminator 6 – Dark Fate is a blockbuster action movie that features thrilling high-speed car chases and crashes. To achieve these spectacular scenes without using CGI (computer-generated imagery) or risking injuring the stunt drivers, they required remote-controlled vehicles that could be driven by a remote driver.
The movie makers hired Moco FX, to provide remote-controlled vehicles that could be driven with precision by a remote driver up to a range of 2 km.
The challenge was to design and implement a reliable and safe control system for the cars, which were from the 80s and required physical servos and direct electrical control. The control system also had to include live video transmission, emergency shutdown solutions and monitoring.
The solution was to create a distributed control system for the car and the remote-control station. The car system had a range of CANbus servos and a Wago remote I/O controlling the steering wheel, gear shifter, and pedals. In addition, there were a range of functions to ensure safe driving and emergency stop procedures.
In the remote driver end, the actual steering was a “gaming steering wheel” and physical switches. The control system and video were run over separate radio links. Both CDP control applications were run on industrial Linux computers.
The solution worked so well that the film company decided to use the cars as moving camera platforms and enabled even more thrilling shots during the high-speed car chases.
Moco FX had all skills in-house on the physical design and construction, as well as an experienced software developer. CDP Technologies provided a 2-day “on-the-job training” and support on specific topics during the system development. Moco FX made an impressive effort in the development phase, as this was their very first project using CDP Studio.
It would have been impossible to meet the expectations within the given timeframe without CDP Studio. Developing solutions like this in CDP Studio is faster because most interfaces and standard functions are available “out of the box”, the focus can then be on the core functionality.
Even if this is a typical “one-off” design, the modular architecture makes it easy to reuse elements for the next project or as here: two cars that were not identical. With interfaces ranging from gaming gear to industrial I/O and control loops both local (fast) and remote (radio link delay), the system was one of the more novel we have seen using CDP Studio.
About MoCo FX
MoCo FX: moco-fx.co.uk/
MoCo FX delivers solutions for motion control for entertainment and film industry. Moco is about technology and entertainment, their work covers a broad range from on-set, movie special effects and motion control, to immersive VR art installations. The common theme throughout everything they do is technology, finding the right systems and bringing them together to work, with reliability and safety.