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Control Booth Screen In HM Loading Area

Raineman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
A bit of a tecchie question, for any current/former CMs that have worked the HM. My first time on HM last year, the ride stopped just after I got on, so my doom buggy was right at the end of the loading area, with a control booth right next to me. I could see a CM working on what looked like a touch screen, for close to 10 minutes. Were they working on possible error report, checking ride controls? I tried to read what was on the screen, but didn't have my glasses on. The tech geek in me was wondering the whole time what operating system the display was using ;).
 

Doodlyday

Well-Known Member
A bit of a tecchie question, for any current/former CMs that have worked the HM. My first time on HM last year, the ride stopped just after I got on, so my doom buggy was right at the end of the loading area, with a control booth right next to me. I could see a CM working on what looked like a touch screen, for close to 10 minutes. Were they working on possible error report, checking ride controls? I tried to read what was on the screen, but didn't have my glasses on. The tech geek in me was wondering the whole time what operating system the display was using ;).
I have no info, but good question. I would like to know too.
 

Raineman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Considering how often it stops, it must be Windows based. (yes, I know it stops for other reasons, but I couldn't resist.)
Busiest day of the year. Standby wait time on HM at 60 minutes. The ride stops. The CM goes to the touch screen to restart the ride, then sees this:

IC726259.jpg

:eek:
 

ulto22

Active Member
I can actually answer this! Those screens are known as HMIs (Human Machine Interface) and are connected to the ride safety/control system, which is a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller).

These do not have OS's per say, its just a screen that is told where data is in the PLC, and how to interact with it. The CM's only have access to data that the original programmer says they have access to, preventing people from going in and messing with the system.
 

Raineman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I can actually answer this! Those screens are known as HMIs (Human Machine Interface) and are connected to the ride safety/control system, which is a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller).

These do not have OS's per say, its just a screen that is told where data is in the PLC, and how to interact with it. The CM's only have access to data that the original programmer says they have access to, preventing people from going in and messing with the system.
So the data they are getting from the PLC, is it just for analysis of any problems, or does the HMI allow them to troubleshoot and correct the problem?
 

ulto22

Active Member
It depends on the engineer who designed the system. Most ride control systems will show the error that occurred (e.g. Motor power failed, motion sensor tripped, Yeti not running......), and if the engineer was good, would include ways to fix it (e.g. Remove obstruction from sensor, restart power to ride vehicles).

For a majority of the time, if a ride breaks down, its not the control system that crashes (PLCs dont have an OS, and therefore cant crash), but it is likely is the PLC saw an unsafe condition and stopped the ride. Once the safe condition is satisfied again, the CM can probably restart the ride from the PLC HMI, or from a reset button.

Continuing, the consoles you see that CMs use to dispatch ride vehicles (near the ride platform, normally with go button, reset, big red Emergency stop) are all talking and connected to that same PLC. The PLC runs the ride controls, then a separate system runs the show itself (video, lighting, music, effects).

Of course these systems get very big and very complex, normally talking to each other, but I hope this gives you an idea of how it works.
 

MagliteL13

Active Member
It depends on the engineer who designed the system. Most ride control systems will show the error that occurred (e.g. Motor power failed, motion sensor tripped, Yeti not running......), and if the engineer was good, would include ways to fix it (e.g. Remove obstruction from sensor, restart power to ride vehicles).

For a majority of the time, if a ride breaks down, its not the control system that crashes (PLCs dont have an OS, and therefore cant crash), but it is likely is the PLC saw an unsafe condition and stopped the ride. Once the safe condition is satisfied again, the CM can probably restart the ride from the PLC HMI, or from a reset button.

Continuing, the consoles you see that CMs use to dispatch ride vehicles (near the ride platform, normally with go button, reset, big red Emergency stop) are all talking and connected to that same PLC. The PLC runs the ride controls, then a separate system runs the show itself (video, lighting, music, effects).

Of course these systems get very big and very complex, normally talking to each other, but I hope this gives you an idea of how it works.
I think this is a very good description of ride controls. It's a bunch of systems which normally wouldn't talk to each other, talking to each other. As for the OS, it all depends on the system. Most of the systems at Tower of Terror run/ran Windows XP when I was there.
 

R2D2 1982

Member
That's why I wrote "almost everything" operations wise we use windows. Guest services such as fp and das, etc we use ipads and ipods
 

MagliteL13

Active Member
I've seen the control system for Soarin, its PLCs. Windows XP may run part of the show control systems.
Unless the attraction is not very complicated (for attractions, at least), it's going to interface with multiple different systems all of which may run unique operating systems. Also, most likely, for safety, security, and stability, the panel you see CMs/TMs operating from will not be where everything is "controlled" from-- just operated. The controlling is done from a different location(s). There are exceptions of course.
 

Raineman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Coming from a manufacturing/quality work background, I would live to see the SOPs and the PM list that these attractions have. I know the kind of PMs that a simple metal or plastic processing machine at a factory has; I can only imagine how many PMs a ride like HM or SM would have.
 

ulto22

Active Member
Unless the attraction is not very complicated (for attractions, at least), it's going to interface with multiple different systems all of which may run unique operating systems. Also, most likely, for safety, security, and stability, the panel you see CMs/TMs operating from will not be where everything is "controlled" from-- just operated. The controlling is done from a different location(s). There are exceptions of course.

Oh yes, absolutely. The Soarin PLC control room is impressive though, a lot of racks. The preshow video systems and audio systems are located there too.

I am working on an older system now like you described.
 

HRJunior

New Member
It's a PLC, and in Disney Language, we usually call it the APEX, normally, rides have it incrusted in the podium near the doombuggies (like the one at Phantom Manor)
Usually they use it to control the ride, but they can hide it and use button instead.
Looking to what you say about the stop, they might be looking the intruder screen if they updated the system since last picture i've seen of 2004
The intruder screen normally look like the layout of the ride, wich black zone with number of it wich change of color to indicate to the CM where is the guest wich activated one of the intrusion carpet

Oh and i forgotten, the APEX is a touchscreen of aproximatively 15 inches, or 21 inches , it depend of the attraction size ;)
 

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