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Robotic thrill ride 'Ro5ie' opens at Calgary's Telus Spark

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Visitors to Calgary's Telus Spark Science Centre can now enjoy a first-of-its-kind activity that fuses robotics with the thrills of a full-scale roller coaster.

Ro5ie the "robo-coaster" is the newest attraction at the facility, and is meant to simulate the effects of a roller coaster right inside the science centre itself.

Ro5ie is a gigantic robotic arm, much like the ones used on production lines in the building of automobiles, but instead of a big clamp on the end, it has three roller coaster seats.

Riders on the six-axis robotic arm can select from one of five levels of intensity.

At level five, you’ll be spinning wildly and pulling up to 1.8 g-force over the two-and-a-half minute ride. 

"Ro5ie is definitely a interesting feat of engineering and robotics," said Lowell Smidteboom, creative experience manager for Telus Spark. 

"So this gives our visitors a chance to see what an actual robot in the real field of robotics is actually doing and being used (for).

“It kind of gives you a excitement about robotics and a lot of engineering that's gone into this, even the fabrication of it. Each section of Ro5ie's arm is actually cast steel. So there's no welds on the arm, and this gives it a lot more strength."

There are a few ground rules for riders; There's a minimum height of 1.2 metres (four feet) for a gentle ride, 1.4 metres (4'7") for a "turbo" ride and Ro5ie's maximum load is 300 kilograms (661 pounds) for groups of three passengers.There is also a maximum height of 198 centimetres (6'6") tall.

Ride admission is not included with either the Telus Spark's regular admission or memberships.

Rides on Ro5ie cost $10 for non-members or $7 for members for a single ride, while three non-member riders pay $25 and groups of three and members pay $20.

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