Monday, September 25, 2023

Cavu Designwerks and KUKA collaborate on new autonomous dark ride vehicle

CAVU Designwerks (CAVU) and KUKA are officially launching the second and third vehicles in their partnership.

The newest vehicles of CAVU’s Self Driving Vehicle (SDV) portfolio uses KUKA’s reliable industrial platforms the KMP 1500-P & 600S at its base and has been transformed into entertainment applications safe for passenger use. Like the first version, these vehicles can interact with other advanced technologies like AI, real-time gaming engines and projection mapping. The new vehicles are smaller and more compact than the first vehicle, the omniMove, allowing them to be used in many different spaces and experiences while offering a dynamic motion profile.

The SDV 600 is the smallest vehicle offering, allowing for more intimate experiences. The compact nature of the SDV 600 allows for multiple vehicles to be deployed throughout the dark ride, without compromising the personalized experience. This vehicle is low profile, allowing for guests to load and unload directly from the floor.

The SDV 1500 is the mid-sized vehicle in our offering with a maximum speed of 1.8m/s. Even though the vehicle has a 1500kg payload, it is still a compact vehicle. A unique feature incorporated within all three of CAVU’s SDVs is the ability to create multiple ride profiles using the CAVU Trackless Dark Ride. This provides the opportunity to create experiences of varying intensity depending on the audience’s demand. It also means the profiles can be easily changed on-site during installation or for future upgrades.

Additional components such as turntables, SFX onboard audio and motion bases can be integrated with any of the three SDVs in CAVU and KUKA’s vehicle offering.

“CAVU and KUKA have been working hard on expanding our product offerings as part of the partnership launched in November 2022.” Said Mark Stepanian, President at CAVU. “By adding two new SDVs to our portfolio we are making it possible for any park or operation to utilize our technology regardless of budget, size or throughput.”

The newest vehicles will be showcased in CAVU’s upcoming web series on Dark Ride Rehabs. CAVU and KUKA will look at existing dark rides and how the utilization of SDVs can assist in breathing new life into the experiences.

The partnership between CAVU and KUKA launched with the omniMove in November 2022. Since then, the two teams have been focused on creating the most innovative fleet of SDVs, ensuring that there is a vehicle suitable for every dark ride experience. The development and execution of the new vehicle offerings is supported by the in-depth programming knowledge of the team at BEC Robotics.

If you would like to learn more about the partnership or any of the vehicle offerings please visit or email [email protected].

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