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Introduction

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L. Michael Roberts

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About Laser F/X - L. Michael Roberts

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        L. Michael Roberts was born of Canadian parents in the Republic of South Africa. He moved back to Canada, via a year in Europe, in his late teens to correct the situation.

L. Michael Roberts Michael playing with his lasers

    His father was an electronics engineer and radio amateur (ham) and he influenced Michael's early interest in electronics and mechanical devices.  In school Michael studied the regular subjects along with art, art history, classical and vocal music.  As an art student, he was interested in the 'Op-Art' movement and experimented with optical and kinetic art building several motorised sculptures. He also sang in several Gilbert and Sullivan operettas but found he was more interested in the lighting, sound and production aspects of the shows.  Thus began a life-long interest in the technical aspects of show production.
    Michael saw his first laser show at the Toronto planetarium in 1975 where he was inspired by a performance of Laserium the pioneering laser light show.  The beauty of the images and the vibrant colours drew him back again and again until he fell in love with the concept of drawing with light.  At the time he was running a small business designing and installing sound and lighting systems in clubs and discos.  He became a laserist when he purchased his first laser and designed and built an X-Y projection system in early 1976. He was the first in Canada to offer "have laser show - will travel" services.
    He began by performing simple laser beam effects with rock bands, at corporate shows and special events.  Over the years he has upgraded his systems with the addition of graphics and animations, beam tables, multiple colours and 3D graphics.  He has performed laser shows for major corporations, designed choreographed and performed laser and fireworks spectaculars, created movie special FX, toured internationally with renown rock bands, and even performed for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
    In April 1978 he originated the Laser Dance Party which combines the traditional elements of a DJ, sound system, and dance lighting with a live high-tech laser show.  He has toured this, his favorite show, internationally performing at thousands of parties and raves in North and South America, Europe and Africa!
    He published the world's first Laser Clip-art catalogue and has provided animations and graphics to clients world-wide.  He has won awards from ILDA (International Laser Display Association) and the Pangolin Prize for his laser animations.  His award-winning works can be seen in a variety of locations around the globe.
    In November 1993 he introduced Laser Effects: The Light Show Quarterly to serve the information and advertising needs of the laser light show community.  The newsletter started with about 200 subscribers and grew to over 875 subscribers world-wide in under three years.  In 1997, the name was changed to Laser F/X Newsletter.  When the internet became accessible to everyone, the Newsletter was moved on-line and expanded into the www.LaserFX.com web site in order to serve the international laser light show community with timely information.  The site has expanded to offer not only general information to the public, but also a Backstage area with technical information and resources for for laserists, experimenters and hobbyists.
    L. Michael Roberts is the author of Laser F/X: The Light Show Handbook, a 400+ page technical manual on laser displays which was published in the spring of 1996.  May 1995 saw Laser F/X sponsoring the worlds first open conference for laser light show professionals, "Laser F/X '95". The conference was held in Burlington, Ontario and attracted 60 people to the three days of seminars, a trade show and an awards banquet. The conference was an annual institution each May for five years, attracting participants from around the globe.

    In his last few years in the laser business, Michael has turned his attention to the design of systems and products for use in laser displays.  He acted as a consultant and product designer to various manufacturers as well as providing marketing services for systems and products.
   Michael is now retired from the industry having taken a position as Chief Technology Officer for two Induction Lighting companies (see Current Projects below).  He is an inventor with two granted patents, and a number of  provisional patents to his credit.  He is presently focused on UV technology and on advanced, high efficiency, magnetic induction lamp light sources.

Current Projects

  • InduLux Technologies Inc. - InduLux Technologies brings years of experience working with, and innovating, Magnetic Induction Lighting technologies to our clients. Magnetic Induction lighting, also called Induction Lamps or Induction Lights,  is currently the most energy efficient lighting on the planet!  InduLux provides consulting, product design, and Intellectual Property services primarily to manufacturers and distributors of induction lighting systems and equipment.  InduLux has an on-line library of Induction Lighting publications.
  • GreenTech Fixures Inc. - GreenTech Fixtures Inc., will soon be offering long lifespan, energy saving, lighting fixtures based on patent-pending technology licensed from InduLux Technologies.  The fixtures use Magnetic Induction Lamps with a 95,000~100,000 hour lifespan, in combination with other long lifespan lamps, to create unique fixtures which operate at a low light output in standby mode, then switch to full light output as needed based on sensor input.

Summary

    L. Michael Roberts is the pioneer of laser displays in Canada providing over 30 years of service to his clients.  He originated laser clip-art and has won multiple awards for his laser animations.  Michael is an editor and writer who has been published in The Laserist, Photonics Spectra, Laser Talk, Laser Effects, New Scientist and other publications. 
    Among his non-laser interests are computer technology, energy efficient lighting, alternate energy and solar technology, music (from classical/opera to dance/rave), downhill skiing, travel, photography (you can visit his Flickr pages), reading and movies (especially science fiction), and cooking.

 

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