Stark Example of Success
ATDC company SimCraft’s product featured in Iron Man 2
When Tony Stark needed to train for the Monaco Grand Prix, only a top-notch racing simulator would suffice.
Although Stark—a genius engineer and the hero of Marvel Studios’ new film Iron Man 2—lives in a world inhabited by superheroes, he obtained the innovative technology in Atlanta from SimCraft, a member of 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 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 Comics superhero, the world is now aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark, played by 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 Ivan Vanko—the villain Whiplash—who is armed with energy whips, played by Mickey Rourke.
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.
ATDC is a startup accelerator that helps Georgia technology entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies. On Monday, May 24, the organization celebrated its 30th anniversary.
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.
Written by Nancy Fulbright