At the Robe stand, the fixtures are ready to take on all weather conditions.

I stands for Idea, for IP, for Innovative. At Prolight+Sound Joseph Valchar, CEO of Robe, once again presents a constantly evolving series of luminaires, here a premium IP65 option on the Czech brand’s flagship fixtures, while releasing a completely new concept, and, a crazy futuristic floor cable-run protection, presented here by Vincent Bouquet, technical director of Robe Lighting France.

The iSeries

The iPainte, iEsprite, iForte, iSpiider, iBeam350, or even the iTetra2, you will have to get used to this little vowel in front of the name it means a lot at Robe. An “i” represents several technologies used to seal the fixtures to prevent the infiltration of water or dust particles, like the show ”All Environnements” created by Robe for Prolight+Sound 2023.

On a real stage, 9 meters wide and visible from 270°, a couple of dancers/actors and an acrobat tried to entertain the huge audience of the Czech stand by contorting themselves between the hundreds of Robe fixtures; an excuse to multiply the On a real stage, 9 meters wide and visible from 270°, a couple of dancing actors and 1 acrobat tried to entertain the huge audience of the Czech stand by contorting themselves between the hundreds of Robe projectors; an excuse to multiply the completely crazy stage effects.

A curtain of rain, flames, projections of (fake) snow, and heavy smoke, nothing was spared for the fixtures, which bravely resisted everything and went through 25,000 memories in a crazy upbeat rhythm. The highlight is the iSpiider seen under massive rain and volumetric projections in the mist, a fascinating kaleidoscope of 3D gobos.

Overview of the iSeries models, from left to right, iForte, iEsprite, iPainte, and iBeam.

Apart from the obvious work on the partitioning of each part of the fixture and the use of connectors or waterproof parts, Robe has particularly worked on two issues. Managing residual humidity inside the machine, and staying within acceptable weight constraints, despite the new covers of the fixtures.

With slightly larger bodies, especially the base unit, but without hindering the setup positions, this covering is designed as a shield against all types of weather. To keep its IP 65 rating, while maintaining access to the internal elements for maintenance, a change of gobos, or the LED source, the technician must ensure that they have correctly reassembled each screw and each seal.
A self-test program is integrated into each model of the iSerie to check its tightness by blocking the ventilation for 3 minutes. If it detects a loss of pressure, an alert warns the technician of a leak and asks to resume reassembly. An operation was certainly possible before but with the use of a separate test box/briefcase in the workshop.

The air humidity is between 30 and 50%. To stay between 3 and 7% inside the fixture, Robe has opted for moisture absorption with silica cartridges in the yoke, which should be changed between every 1 and 2 years depending on the conditions of use… These systems are coupled with the proprietary RAINS™ technology (Robe Automatic Ingress Neutralization System) which analyzes in real-time and then controls the temperature, humidity, and pressure to eliminate all traces of liquid.

The new design of the iSerie, certified IP65, with its lens treated against any deposits.

Finally, to cope with all conditions of use, the lenses benefit from the parCoat™ patent, a hydrophobic and oleophobic beading treatment to immunize the optical elements against water and oil; while the composition of the covers and external protective covers of its projectors with an alloy of magnesium and aluminum acts as a dust repellent while reducing the weight of the assembly.

Nevertheless, these modifications lead to weight gain, especially noticeable on the smallest devices. The difference is barely noticeable between a Forte and an iForte (1.5 kg difference), but 6 kg separates the PainTE from its waterproof counterpart.

In addition to this IP65 certification, the iSerie range offers two additional improvements. Firstly the inclusion of an NFC chip to scan, examine and configure a fixture using the “Robe Com” App for iPhone and Android Google Play. Secondly, POLAR+™ technology, a specific standby mode where, even sitting in the snow, the fixture continues to perform certain vital functions to allow it to operate down to -50° Celsius.

All the models accessible in iSerie remain available in the standard version. This applies to the following fixtures: iPainte, iEsprite, iForte, iBeam350, iSpiider, and iTetra2. The waterproof versions go into production this summer, to be available at the start of the school year. Their prices will be on the increase compared to non-waterproof models. The fixtures keep the same characteristics, in terms of function or luminous flux, DMX charts, or ergonomics.

Footsie, the right size that fits

How can a cable tray/cover be surprising? Simple, by letting Robe imagine a futuristic remake, which combines both a cable protection tray and a luminous LED footlight, all IP65. The Footsies are 2 slightly domed plates, 2 or 4 ‘feet’ wide, all covered in black metal except for a strip of LEDs dividing them in the middle.

Franck Veber, Robe Lighting France, the Footsie fits well.

The Footsie1 is 63 cm (approx 2ft) wide and has 24 diodes while its sister, the Footsie2 is 123 cm and has 48 LEDs. They can be assembled together or with corner and straight pieces to form a flowing path at the edge of the stage, barely 52 mm (approx 2 inches)high.

The connection between the cable trays/covers is made with quick hookups, their setup and dismantling are easy thanks to the integrated handles at the back, and several corner pieces are available at different degrees. Robe can even offer custom versions, and why not models without LEDs to fit into the cable trays…

Each of the parts incorporates 2 hatches lengthways at the front and rear to conceal the runs of the microphone, speaker, or data cables all along, with outlets provided at each end of the covers. The front hatch will be reserved for the power supply and DMX control of the LEDs of the Footsie, with their waterproof PowerCon and DMX copies.

The Footsie1, with the cable tray open.

The lighting provided by the LED strip is the ‘footlight’ type and can tilt forwards to be more homogeneous. In this case, an integrated cover makes it possible to completely hide this light from the eyes of the public.
This shield is called SPREADTM (Shield Protection, Reflection Elimination, Diffusion), and has two additional filters to be inserted above the LED sources: striated diffusions, with a soft rendering.

Diodes are available in 3 types. A warm white, around 3600 K, with a CRI of 90; a variable white between 2700 K and 6500 K, or an RGBW module. The variable white model is the closest to a traditional footlight, the colored one will be mainly used for particular effects, the mixture giving a fairly harsh/strange look with this angle of lighting.

Depending on the DMX mode chosen, the LEDs can be controlled in 1, 2, or 4 zones for the Footsie2, with a separate CTC setting and mag/green correction for the RGBW engine.

The Footsie can be fitted with an additional diffuser. The blue leds allow the artists to place themselves onstage in the dark.

Last but not least feature is the presence of blue safety lights to indicate to the entertainers where the footlights (and the edges of the stage!) are, and, allow them to take their place in the dark easily.
Presented in a pre-series version in Frankfurt, these astonishing devices, between decorative elements, futuristic footlights, and beaconing, are giving a jab at the lighting industry.
Robe Lighting is going back to its roots, the search for innovations without any taboos, where it was not expected.
The Footsie is controllable in DMX, and RDM and also have an NFC chip for wireless configuration

They will be available as of September.

T11 Profile MFS

With its range of profile spots and moving lights for the theater, Robe has developed several models of specific fixtures to the needs of performance halls, theaters, and, other venues.

La T11 Profile MFS is a compact Follow Spot for small theaters.

The T11 profile now doubles as a Follow Spot version, with the T11 Profile MFS. Presented in Frankfurt, this special model, for the short throw theaters, has a 350 W LED source, with emulation very close to a tungsten source and variable white between 2700 K and 8000 K.

The dimmer fader can be placed at different places on the Follow Spot.

The MSL-TE source can easily be replaced, and has a high CRI of 95, with a very good response in TLCi and TM30. The fixture can be controlled entirely manually, with a zoom range of 5 to 50°, an internal shutter system, an iris, and removable frosts of 1° and 5°.

A wide handle in the shape of a crossbar makes it easy to guide it from both sides. A wired remote control gives access to the control of the dimmer, but it and various parameters can also be controlled from a console.

The T11 Follow Spot is already available

For more information the Robe Lighting website


Crédits - Text & photos: Tristan Szylobryt – Video: Allison Cussigh – Translation: Ted Hall

Leave a Reply