Basically, Robocoaster is an industrial robot with a passenger cart mounted in place of a tool. Then it can swing and swirl you in all possible directions.
To avoid confusion I have to say that it is a "device" made by RoboCoaster Ltd, an England based company which was founded in 2000 in cooperation with KUKA a robot manufacturer. Maybe there are other similar devices in the market but I doubt it.
As far as I know, it's the only project of this type. So I'll try to give you some useful information on Robocoaster Ltd products and proposed concepts. They all include robotics solutions.
This is the one you can see in the image above. Also when searching robocoaster or something like that on youtube the G1 version will most likely pop up.
As I already told you, it's a specifically designed robot arm with a passenger cart. People sit in it and enjoy the swirling and shaking.
The main thing that makes this ride distinctive from others is its flexibility. It is a robot and it has its working envelope. It can position the passenger cart in many places and in many directions.
As a robot, it can be programmed for different speeds. So the same ride can actually do a Merry-go-round for kids, as well as the craziest upside down ride you can imagine. The possibilities are endless.
You can take a ride in numerous Legolands around the world.
This one has the same basic concept with some additions and some other differences. The first addition is that it has 4 seats instead of 2 so its payload is considerably higher.
The main addition however is a global axis of freedom. This means that the robot itself can move along a global axis while moving the passengers. This global axis of movement can form a recirculating track. It is not axis then anymore... Well you got the point.
There's another difference. The manipulator used is not a 6-axis manipulator as in G1 case (in the picture) but a 4-axis manipulator instead.
If you live in the US maybe you have seen some of these because in July 2006 some 50 of them were sold to some US company. Maybe there are others in other parts of the world but I am not aware of those.
This is the ultimate robocoaster. Remember what I told about G2 robots? The same applies here with a few differences. This time the global "track" of movement is a real coaster. And the manipulator has two axes of freedom. So it's, basically, a coaster where a 2-axes robot manipulators are used as trains.
As I understand, you can't take a ride on one of these yet. Not because they are not yet fully designed but because no one has bought one yet.
But there are rumors going on that a new ride is planned at Alton towers, UK and that this new ride could be Robocoaster G3 as well.
This stands for Automated Guided Vehicle. That is basically a big line follower. So idea is that you can make modifiable dark rides or outdoor rides or whatever.
Usually, in this type of rides there are a track along which the cart moves. But in this case a track is merely a line of paint or a material which the vehicle can detect and move along. Again, it offers you more flexibility.
There are also Motion Theatres and high speed amphibians but I'm not sure if it corresponds with the topic of this site - all on robots. Anyway if you want to know what they are and what they can do please visit their site.
I already told that Robocoaster is developed in cooperation with KUKA. I'm not really sure who has the patents and trademarks on this ride because KUKA also does advertising for this device. It seems that relationship between these two companies is quite close.
Anyway, I wanted to tell about KUKA's 4D simulator. Nothing about it is mentioned from the side of Robocoaster Ltd, so I suppose that this is entirely KUKA's idea.
Basically, it's a G1 robot with a different passenger cart. The cart is something like a cockpit with monitors and other stuff inside that let you see, hear and feel things. This way anything can be simulated. It can be a flight, a cosmic flight, skiing and much more. Well I think this video describes it in the best way:
I think you should have an insight about robots used as amusement rides now. As well as what future promises to bring us in this field.