Epcot opens ride designing attraction with Raytheon

Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 10:15 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Epcot on Wednesday opened a new attraction called "Sum of All Thrills," which lets kids use computer tablets to design a virtual roller coaster, bobsled track or plane ride. After inputting their designs, kids climb into a robotic carriage that uses virtual-reality technology to help them experience the ride they've created.

The new ride program is sponsored by Raytheon, a military contractor, as part of its corporate philanthropy program to interest young people in math, science, technology and engineering. Math education is strategically important for the company, said William Swanson, Raytheon’s chief executive.

Read more from CNN and The New York Times.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009 3:22 PM

BTW guys, I watched the vid in Gomez's link, and one of the Disney reps said that it IS a KUKA Robocoaster.

Oh, DJ, not all KUKA robots are orange. Although, I will afmit it does trademark them quite well, like brown for a UPS truck.

Check these out: http://tinyurl.com/ml7uvg , and http://tinyurl.com/ygwcz2n , and http://tinyurl.com/yh3fybo

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Friday, October 16, 2009 6:06 AM

Interesting. We only work with the orange industrial version.

But I'll take one in stainless steel! :)

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Friday, October 16, 2009 7:00 AM

When I was poking around Kuka's site, I was amazed at the range of 'bots they produce.

If you look closely that stainless one is designed for use in areas where clean;liness is key, like pharacutical or food processing.

Actually, I'd like one that's custom painted with some classic hot rob flames or some pinstriping.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009 10:27 PM

This is super cool but am I the only one who thinks it would be cooler if it could use no limits track files to generate the simulation in addition to the "easier" program on-site. imagine bringing your favorite no limits track on an SD card and bam now you can ride it. :)

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Sunday, October 25, 2009 11:12 PM

Got to do Sum of All Thrills twice today. Two very different designs, Jill's had more inversions and "higher thrills". Mine had too much focus on airtime (big surprise there). ;)

Kind of surprising for Disney to give so much credit to Kuka as the manufacturer. Sponsors always get appropriate *recognition*, but I found it quite unusual for the ride manufacturer to be mentioned, and to have their name visible on the ride hardware.

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Monday, October 26, 2009 7:18 AM

So, Gator, is the ride worth doing? Is it really all it's hyped up to be?

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Monday, October 26, 2009 2:52 PM

^Well, having ridden at the same time as Jeff (I think Kuka only brought the ride to the one trade-show), I can say without hesitation that we ran a considerably more intense program at IAAPA. Now, on that version, you selected a pre-programmed ride level, and the movements were unknown to the rider in advance - still smooth and not jerky, but forceful nonetheless.

At EPCOT, the riders pair up and design the layout to a large degree (some transitioning between elements is programmed in). The momvements could be anticipated better since you saw the track in front of your display...but somehow it still seemed somewhat "jerkier"...and somehow less intense. It was alot of fun, and the DIY feature was VERY cool...but having the IAAPA experience did in some ways lessen the excitement. A friend who'd ridden previously had also informed me that that MIGHT be the case.

Since we got to EPCOT early (I figured there'd be long lines), it was pretty much a walk-on for our two rides. The park got pretty busy later on, but surprisingly - to me at least - I never saw more than a 45-minute line.

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Monday, October 26, 2009 2:56 PM

I was wondering about the lines for this... with so many people there, and such a low capacity, it seems like it'd be a nightmare. Do you think it's just under the radar of most people?

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Monday, October 26, 2009 3:38 PM

^Trust me, after visiting the website trying to get *any* info on the attraction beforehand, and visiting the park, this thing is WAY below the radar. Even people in line behind us were asking "so what is this thing anyway"? Other than a few small signs at the entrance to Innoventions (and those only if you're in the right Innoventions pavilion), you have to be within about 50' of the thing to even know it's there. Thankfully, that played in our favor - since I knew about it beforehand. ;)

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Monday, October 26, 2009 4:47 PM

Well if that's the case, perhaps I'll check it out. The pregnant lady can design the torture and I'll ride it. But not the same day that I try for the drink-around-the-world attempt.

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Monday, October 26, 2009 5:08 PM

Okay, you can drink around the world, but ride test track afterward.

Either that or drink some vermouth, gin, and eat a couple of olives. You can have an instant mix martini in your stomach!

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Monday, October 26, 2009 5:15 PM

Yeah, that's really clever.

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Monday, October 26, 2009 6:27 PM

kpjb said:
I was wondering about the lines for this... with so many people there, and such a low capacity, it seems like it'd be a nightmare. Do you think it's just under the radar of most people?

I think most of the Innoventions stuff has scary-low capacity.

Somehow it works.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009 2:42 PM

We have over a hundred of these kuka robots at work. We always thought it would be fun to strap a seat on the end of one. :)

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009 7:26 AM

Maybe you can convince the boss to buy one for the break room!

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