Motion System Design

Bringing a historical classic into the future

The first record of the Prater, one of Vienna's most famous landmarks, was in 1403. The park is home to famous rides like the giant Ferris wheel, built in 1897. It plays host to about 2.7 million visitors each year and hopes to attract more with a new ride designed with the help of Bosch Rexroth Corp., with U.S. headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The Flyboard 5000 brings this historical park into the future, using a complex motion system to simulate flight.

Riders are not passive spectators sitting down; they're actively involved in the action. There are no seats on board the mini airplane that is the ride. On the platform of the Flyboard, a motion system developed by Bosch Rexroth, everyone stands.

“Every movement is felt directly. You get as close as possible to the illusion that you are flying,” explains Ronald Yntema from Rexroth in The Netherlands. “The special thing about our system is that it is entirely powered by electricity, and we can realize very exact and clean movements with the IndraDrive motors and transmissions from Rexroth. This makes the movements so realistic and the whole experience incredibly fast and dynamic.”

Rexroth achieved many design advances with its technology for standing passengers. Up to 36 people must move freely on the platform. “Through exact movements and steering we can create an extreme buzz. The movements should convey the effect of risk and danger, but at the same time we must be able to guarantee absolute safety for standing passengers,” Yntema says.

This was made possible through the three-dimensional motion system, which was originally used in simulators in the aviation industry. The flight simulator developer, Explore 5D from Vienna, commissioned the Rexroth Dutch subsidiary to supply the entire electric drive and control technology because Rexroth had already co-developed various travel simulators. Rexroth delivered the entire electronic Motion Ride System, in which 36 people can travel. Comparable predecessors could only hold up to 16 passengers.

To make the experience as realistic as possible, movements must be in time with sound and digital special effects in the film that is shown on the screen. Rexroth developed a control system that allows just this.

As well as technological development, Rexroth undertook the ride's on-site assembly and safety precautions. Even the self-diagnostic system is from Rexroth, to allow the system to run almost maintenance free, requiring only minimal service costs by the amusement park.

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