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Gear Reviews

Robot Revolutionizes High Speed Photography and Cinema Studio

By Jules Ebe on May 18th 2013

If you have ever wondered how the commercials for companies like Pepsi, Lipton Tea, Mercedes Benz, Dove, and many others accomplish that high-speed, slow-motion footage with clean precision – look no further than Germany-based studio, The Marmalade, and their robot, ‘Spike’.

‘Spike’ is an extraordinary robotic creation that can control the motion and focus of the camera with meticulous accuracy. Frames can be repeated and refined until the desired high-speed imagery is created, removing the variance and delay inherent to human motion.

The Marmalade Identity – The World’s Most Advanced High-Speed Studio

Why a robot? The Marmalade describe their motivation:


Our customers want the unseen. They require a unique image for their brand that no one’s created before. That’s where we start.

We’re always striving to push the boundaries further and further, and that is when Spike was born.

High Speed shots have always been static. We wanted to set them in motion, something that was impossible up to now.

We said to ourselves, there must be a solution. We need software that could handle cinematically. Something that would be able to move. It must be able to create more than just a nice image here and then a nice picture there. It needs to look good between those images as well as it has to be precisely programmable.

‘Spike’ can freely move the camera with unparalleled speed and precision, thereby removing the previously existing creative limitation of having to shoot high speed sequences with a locked camera.

By marrying the hardware of a sturdy and reliable industrial robot to software that was built from the ground up for the demands of motion controlled high speed imaging, we developed a unique system for creating real life camera moves with the ease of use normally associated with 3D Animation.

Exactly repeatable camera moves can be created and modified within a matter of seconds. Using the rich previsualisation features of the system, creative options can be quickly explored on the computer screen and the resulting changes then immediately be performed for real. Additional effects can be triggered in sync with the move, allowing complex effect sequences to be performed.

And of course ‘Spike’ also is at home at slower speeds, producing dramatic product shots as well as stealthy perspective changes.

To see more of The Marmalade’s work, check out their portfolio here.

Until Next Time . . .

Stay Inspired ~ Jules

Thanks Von Wong for sharing this gem.


is a Southern California based Conceptual Artist and Photographer. Her work has been featured in several print publications and selections can be seen in local gallery exhibitions. Connect with her on Facebook and Google+.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Chuck Eggen

    Wow! How do mere mortals compete? Incredible.

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  2. apollo

    Two words:….my…god! So… unbelievable!!

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