When Tony Stark – a genius engineer and the hero of Marvel Studios’ new film Iron Man 2 – needed to train for the Monaco Grand Prix, only a top-notch racing simulator would suffice. Although Stark lives in a world inhabited by superheroes, he obtained the innovative technology in Atlanta from SimCraft, a member of Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC).
The SimCraft APEX racing simulator is featured prominently in the Iron Man 2 film, along with a number of unique cars and a folding wing aircraft. SimCraft produces a low-cost, military-grade, full-motion simulator that provides a simulated G-force for SimRacing and FlightSim at home. The system features a patent-pending chassis that rotates around three degrees of freedom. At its most advanced setup, the system allows the cockpit’s occupant to yaw up to 50 degrees to the left and right, pitch up to 30 degrees fore and aft, and roll up to 50 degrees port and starboard.
“The simulator shows up in three scenes, and in one scene in particular it takes up almost half the screen,” said Sean Patrick MacDonald, SimCraft’s co-founder. “The property master of the film, Russell Bobbitt, asked if they could have Tony Stark use the simulator as a prop and mark it as a Stark Industries creation. My response? Absolutely!”
Iron Man 2 marks a measure of success for an innovator’s son who is, like Stark, carrying on with his late father’s cutting-edge technology company. SimCraft was originally a retirement business for MacDonald’s father William; however, after his death in early 2002, Sean Patrick decided to expand upon his father’s mission. That expansion has brought SimCraft to its present day growth and cameo appearance in the film.
In this sequel to the blockbuster film based on the legendary Marvel superhero, the world is now aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is the armored Iron Man. Under pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands. However, he doesn’t let these concerns stop him from racing at Monaco, where he confronts this fear in the form of evil genius Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) armed with energy whips.
In anticipation of the premiere, SimCraft hosted a simulated racing event with those who helped make the film possible. The SimCraft APEX shows up in the background and foreground of the workshop scenes in the movie.
SimCraft’s core innovation and technology is the simulation of vehicle movement. The company’s proprietary software and patent pending hardware provide realistic, zero latency motion™ for racing and flight simulation. This high performance system provides an unparalleled virtual environment from training applications by honing technical skills and experimentation with vehicle setups to the ultimate in pure entertainment. For more information about SimCraft’s advanced motion technology, visit http://www.SimCraft.com.
About the ATDC:
The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is a startup accelerator that helps Georgia technology entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies. Founded in 1980, ATDC has helped create millions of dollars in tax revenues by graduating more than 120 companies, which together have raised more than a billion dollars in outside financing. ATDC has provided business incubation and acceleration services to hundreds of Georgia startups – most of which are not based on Georgia Tech research, but which benefit from the close proximity to the university.
Recently ATDC expanded its mission by merging with Georgia Tech’s VentureLab and with the Georgia Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Assistance Program. This change has enabled ATDC to greatly extend its reach to serve more technology companies along multiple growth paths and at all stages of development. ATDC has opened its membership to all technology entrepreneurs in Georgia, from those at the earliest conception stage to the well-established, venture-fundable companies.
ATDC is part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) at Georgia Tech, which helps Georgia enterprises improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. ATDC currently has three facilities; two at Georgia Tech’s main campus in Atlanta, and one at Georgia Tech’s satellite campus in Savannah.
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Writer: Nancy Fullbright