Bombyx – Fiber Optic Deployment Robot

Client: ULC Robotics & Facebook Connectivity

Raconteur supported the Bombyx project throughout 1.5 years of development by animating different versions of the robot, running dimensional analysis and creating renders for the press release.

The animated videos helped the Facebook Connectivity team pitch the system to utility companies. The system is complex and difficult to understand, especially for customers with little engineering expertise. The videos facilitated the conversations by demonstrating the system in a realistic manner and removed doubt by allowing the presenter to pause the video during specific operations and answer questions. (Note: the accompanying video is a selection of clips. The full video is over 10 minutes of demos)

Raconteur also helped ULC Robotics to develop the robot by running dimensional analysis in many different scenarios. These scenarios included different conduit diameters, conduit angles, types of insulators, types of electrical poles and different pole angles. Raconteur was a cost-effective and efficient option because a 3D animation workflow is more suited to recording movement and quickly changing the robot position than the solid modeling, CAD workflow used by engineers.

The press release renders needed to portray the long-term vision for the project to bring high-speed internet to lower income populations. They accomplished this by showing the robot on a medium voltage power line in a rural, subsaharan African setting with concrete bungalows and jungle in the background.

“[Facebook] used the animation in presentations to stakeholders. The video helped facilitate the conversation and address concerns about the robotic system since they were able to pause and discuss specific areas of operation. We’ve also used the animation internally to explain the system to our team.”

Jon Kuriloff
R&D Project Manager
ULC Robotics