Synchronizing a Unique, High-Tech Advertising Vehicle With Nook Actuators
adScope Media LLC developed and operates the adRover, an environmentally friendly, all-electric, advertising and promotional vehicle that carries client messaging on a large, motion-controlled LED screen around big events, crowded venues, and busy streets. The company was in the developmental stage until owner and President Donal Moore, who purchased the company in January 2008, arrived. Moore immediately focused on the system that the vehicle used for lifting, turning, and controlling the motion of the large LED screen that rises up from the back deck of the vehicle.
"The company had developed a single prototype when I came on board," Moore explained. "The early model of the adRover used hydraulics to control the motion of the LED. I quickly determined that hydraulics were not the way to go for a variety of reasons. The added weight of the hydraulic system was prohibitive, and we faced some ongoing maintenance issues, such as leakage of hydraulic fluid, and some performance problems related to temperature extremes."
Moore began researching other motion-control approaches, including mechanical systems that relied on the use of chains, pulleys, and belts. He soon rejected those methods for reasons similar to why he had discounted the use of hydraulics and decided to use a mechanical actuator driven by an electric motor. After investigating commercially available actuators, adScope Media chose to use a CC Actuator from Nook Industries on the adRover's LED motion-control system because of its suitability to provide a self-contained solution, its ability to be programmed for operation through a computer, and the local engineering support of Youngblood Automation, the Nook distributor in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Resolving Weight, Motion-Control Issues
By choosing a Nook actuator for the adRover's LED motion-control application, adScope Media was able to resolve the weight and motion-control issues it had encountered with the hydraulic-based system and meet its goal of producing an environmentally friendly, efficient, and cost-effective mobile advertising vehicle. "As a 21st century media platform, there are certain requirements we had to meet," Moore points out. "The vehicle had to be the right size, agile, environmentally sensitive, and we needed to be able to deliver messaging not only to large events but also to small and medium-sized crowds cost-effectively."
Using the Nook actuator to control the motion of the 400-pound LED screen - raising, lowering, and turning the screen from side to side - turned out to be the most effective approach. "While using a mechanical actuator driven by an electric motor was more costly than belt-and chain-driven systems, it was the most elegant solution," Moore notes. "It was the most compact method, offering a self-contained solution, was well-tested and more in keeping with the modern look of the adRover. Quite simply, it provided the best technical means for controlling the motion of the LED screen."
Rockin' The Super Bowl
Development on the first-generation adRover wrapped up in time for the adRovers debut at the biggest and grandest of all sporting events: the Super Bowl. The improvements the Nook actuator brought to the adRover's LED motion-control system made a big splash at Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona, including an appearance on ESPN's Mike and Mike Super Bowl Show. Since then the stable of adRovers has expanded to four vehicles, which have worked a variety of venues, including NHRA Nationals events.
"Almost every hour that we have the adRover out, we hear comments like: 'Awesome,' 'Cute,' 'Amazing,' and 'I should have thought of it,'" Moore notes. "With the Nook solution, we put together a truly innovative, mobile advertising display vehicle for the 21st century that can operate at any event under any weather conditions."
- Improved performance of LED motion-control system
- Reduced weight of LED motion-control system
- Eliminated ongoing maintenance issues
- Launched a true innovation in mobile advertising