Ushering in a new era of stagecraft

Published on 23/10/2023

The world of theatre and live performances is on the brink of a revolutionary transformation, thanks to a four-year collaboration between the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and Waagner and Biro Stage Systems.

This innovative partnership aims to bring flexible, connected carriages to the stage, allowing sets to change in real time. These autonomous wagons, developed with the expertise of five teams from the IT for Innovative Services department of LIST, will incorporate cutting-edge technology in mechanics, electronics, energy, drive systems, lock systems, positioning, communication, and security. Additionally, these versatile carriages will stand out for their compact size, and their ability to move in any direction, further enabling them to combine into larger configurations on stage. Beyond their mechanical capabilities, the project also encompasses advanced user interfaces with AR/VR, digital twins, and a focus on preventive maintenance, ushering in a new era of stagecraft.

Compact autonomous carriages

One of the standout features of the project is the development of autonomous carriages that will significantly transform the way stage sets are managed. These carriages are designed to be more compact, and they offer the unprecedented capability to move in any direction while maintaining a high-resolution position precision needed for implementing the required safety in machinery. This remarkable flexibility allows them to be combined and rearranged in various configurations, creating adaptable stage layouts. Whether it's a grand opera house or a small theatre, these autonomous carriages can adapt to the space, enhancing the creative possibilities for directors and set designers.

The success of these autonomous carriages relies on intricate mechanics and cutting-edge electronics and sensor technology. Advanced electronics will provide the intelligence behind these carriages, allowing them to communicate, coordinate, and make real-time decisions. By tapping into the power of sensors, actuators, and connectivity, the carriages can respond to changing stage cues, optimizing the timing and positioning of set changes.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

With an increasing global emphasis on sustainability, the autonomous carriages are designed with energy efficiency in mind. LIST's team is working to ensure that the carriages are equipped with state-of-the-art energy solutions.

Ensuring the safety and precision of these autonomous carriages is paramount. The lock system will be designed to secure the carriages in place when needed, guaranteeing a stable and secure stage setup. Precise positioning will be achieved through a combination of advanced sensors and AI-driven algorithms, allowing for millimetre-precise movements. Security is also a primary concern, as these carriages will be a part of a larger ecosystem of stage equipment. LIST and Waagner and Biro Stage Systems are committed to implementing robust security measures to prevent unauthorized access or interference.

Advanced User Interface and Preventive Maintenance

In addition to the autonomous carriages, the project will include an advanced user interface with Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality capabilities, enabling stage crews to manage and control the carriages with ease. Digital twins will provide a virtual representation of the stage, facilitating planning and coordination. Preventive maintenance is another key aspect, ensuring that the carriages run smoothly and reducing the risk of unexpected failures during live performances.


The partnership between the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology and Waagner and Biro Stage Systems marks an exciting chapter in the evolution of stagecraft and the development of new solutions for the company.

The project is partly funded by the Ministry of the Economy's RDI law.

Share this page:


 Carlos KAVKA
Carlos KAVKA
Send an e-mail