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The robotic cameras tracking the stars of German football

A new Robotic Camera system is being used by the German football league to track individual players throughout a game, opening up opportunities for localised content provision for media partners

This season, the German football league (DFL) has been using a new, automated remote camera system called Robotic Camera which focuses on a specific individual player through the course of a game using tracking data.

The camera can be stationed anywhere in the ground, but the current trial system is set up centrally (on the halfway line) and comprises a Grass Valley LDX C86n 4K with a Fujinon HA18x5.5, and a robotically controlled camera mount on a tripod. The system is controlled by the Nikon/MRMC (Mark Roberts Motion Control) Polymotion Player software using tracking data supplied by ChyronHego.

Currently, there are two settings – semi close and close – which tracks the player with or without his immediate surroundings as required, with more settings being developed through the testing period this season.

The benefit behind this type of content lies in the ability for rights holders to distribute tailored and localised content packages to media partners in a cost-effective way (i.e. without additional staffing costs). It also has obvious benefits for promotion and highlights packages and pundit analysis, and also in use by clubs and associations in analysing individual player movement and performance.