Wybron’s award-winning Autopilot II was on the docket for ABC's Election Night with Peter Jennings. Dennis Size with the Lighting Design Group contracted Top Dog’s Paul Braile to track Peter Jennings’ every move by automating the production’s moving lights with Autopilot II. As Jennings moved throughout the ABC election studio set, he wore a small belt pack with an ultrasonic element that allowed Autopilot II to keep Jennings in the spotlight as he covered last night's neck-and-neck race for President.
Autopilot II’s reliability and accuracy optimize followspot usage on live television. First introduced in 1994, Autopilot II (APII) turns moving lights into automated followspots. APII eliminates the need for followspot operators by using moving lights to follow performers in real time. The system creates endless possibilities in venues not normally spotlight friendly and can even control video cameras, creating a seamless tape of the performer.
The APII controller is connected between the console and the fixtures and controls the pan and tilt. Additionally, on some moving lights, the iris can be controlled to provide constant size of the spot regardless of the distance from the light. All other parameters, i.e. intensity and color, are still controlled from the lighting console. The console can regain control of the fixtures from APII using desk channels, freeing the lights temporarily for other uses.