After their acclaimed roles in the latest James Bond film with Pierce Brosnan and Halle Barry, industrial robots from the German market leader KUKA Roboter GmbH are now continuing their high-profile career with “Tomb Raider II – The Cradle of Life”. In this action film they appear alongside sexy Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie. Supporting them is Till Schweiger, another popular German “export”, who plays one of the bad guys. The film starts in cinemas in Germany on 14 August.
In Tomb Raider II, archeologist Lara Croft is played by Angelina Jolie. She races along the Great Wall of China on a motorcycle, parachute-jumps in Africa onto a moving jeep, and in Hong Kong from a 330 meter high skyscraper. The actress: “I think that Lara Croft appeals to the female audience because they get the feeling she is a woman who gets to act like James Bond, to carry high-tech weapons and wear cool outfits.”
While in “007 – Die Another Day” KUKA robots aim their laser beams at Jinx, a shapely American secret agent, in Tomb Raider II they are programmed to decipher a map to the legendary Pandora’s Box. The Box is supposedly located at a place in Africa known as the “Cradle of Life”. Just as the audience expects, the scene with the robots climaxes in gigantic pyrotechnic explosions and daredevil stunts for the cyberwoman Lara Croft.
“The film producers were convinced by our creativity and flexibility, and they opened the door for our robots to pursue a career beyond their usual industrial context”, explains Martin Kuhnhen, director of new markets at KUKA Roboter. “Furthermore, we helped the filmmakers to put their ideas into practice in this spectacular 210 million dollar production. Apart from that, the decision to have KUKA robots play a role in Tomb Raider II was based on their agility and their unusual appearance, as well as our prompt offer of a top-quality, professional design and support package. The response to our activities in the film industry is extremely positive in every respect. After all, the experience we gain in the entertainment sector eventually benefits all of our customers.”
KUKA’s Hollywood appearances are part of an intelligent strategy to open up new sales opportunities for these easy-to-operate industrial robots. One example of this is the Legoland Park in Billund, Denmark, where ten KUKA robots are in operation as amusement park rides. The stringent safety requirements that must be observed here are also specified by KUKA Roboter GmbH as standard. KUKA robots thus achieve the highest level of reliability in the industry – an advantage from which our traditional customers also benefit.
“Meanwhile, filming has begun for the next movie featuring KUKA robots”, hints Kuhnhen. “This project is still top secret, however. One thing I can promise, though: it will be another international blockbuster.“
KUKA Roboter GmbH is an IWKA Group company and ranks among the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial robots. Core competencies are the development, production and sale of industrial robots, controllers, software and linear units. In 2002, the company achieved total sales of more than 250 million euro.