Spidercam buys a Segway x2 in NZ at the Rugby World Cup 2011

As the New Zealand and French rugby teams prepare for their final showdown, battling it out to win the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the Spidercam crew purchased a Segway x2 from Segway New Zealand.

Having watched first-hand as UniRig staff travelled rapidly around Eden Park on a Segway i2 rented from Segway NZ as they assisted with the erection of this high-tech camera’s supporting towers and equipment, Spidercam staff recognised how much more productive they would be if they had their own Segway Personal Transporter (PT).

They chose the Segway x2 for its comfortable ride, incredible grip and – well – it’s kick-arse style! The Segway x2 means business, and when push comes to shove – it does the business. Time is money, and no other transportation device comes close to matching the convenience, performance and capabilities of the Segway PT in productivity roles like this.

Spidercam have operated in dozens of arenas around the world, but it was here in New Zealand that they saw the benefits of using Segway PTs for personal productivity. New Zealand businesses have been early, enthusiastic adopters of Segway PTs to improve their bottom lines (take a look back through our recent News entries for features on the wide variety of Kiwi businesses who utilise Segway PTs).

Television viewers of the 2011 Rugby World Cup have been mesmerised by footage shot by Spidercam. The NZ Herald was particularly impressed. Wikipedia describes it as follows:

The Spidercam is a system which enables film and television cameras to move both vertically and horizontally over a predetermined area, typically the playing field of a sporting event such as a cricket pitch, football field or a tennis court.

The Spidercam operates with four motorized winches positioned at each corner at the base of the covered area, each of which controls a Kevlarcable connected to a gyro-stabilized camera-carrier, or dolly. By controlling the winding and unwinding of the cables, the system allows the dolly to reach any position in the three dimensional space. The inputs of the Spidercam “pilot” are processed by software which forwards the commands to the winches via fiber optic cables. Two of the Kevlar cables also have fiber optic cables woven into them to carry commands to the camera and the remote head, and bring the camera’s high definition signal back to the control station. The remote head, which houses the camera, provides pan and tilt movement and includes the lens remote which controls focus, zoom and irising. A gyro sensor in the dolly stabilises the horizon. A specially trained Spidercam camera operator controls the camera.

Spidercam marks the fourth business to directly use Segway PTs at official Rugby World Cup activities, joining UniRig, Auckland Transport and Party Central at Queens Wharf.

Meanwhile, Heart of the City/Auckland City Council with their “City Ambassadors” have been out in force in downtown Auckland on their two highly visibly Segway i2 Patrollers, handing out city maps and assisting the public to find their way. Magic Broomstick Tours have been busy taking tourists on Segway Tour of Devonport, and Sals Pizza and California Burrito have been delivering fast food to hungry visitors and residents around the CBD. All together, there have been more than a twenty Segway PTs hard at work helping make the Rugby World Cup a better, safer, and friendlier event.

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