A few days ago we reported about Kessler’s announcement of their upcoming CineShooter motion control system and specifically about its centerpiece — the CineShooter nodal Pan/Tilt Head. Since then some voices have been raised in the community (in our comments and in emails) suggesting that Kessler has copied existing designs by competing companies. Kessler Crane CEO and Eric Kessler reached out to us and responded with a statement.
Eric Kessler, CEO of Kessler Crane, has reacted to those allegations and reached out to us via e-mail that we want to share with you:
As owner of Kessler Crane, and an avid proponent of protecting intellectual property, I’m troubled by the backlash we’ve received from a small group of people regarding our newest product, the CineShooter motion control system.
Several of you have made the claim that we have blatantly “ripped off” the design, and cloned some of the features of our competitors motion control heads. While there may be some rudimentary similarities, we stand behind the design and features of our CineShooter 100%. This is our product, our unique design, our engineering, and our firmware development. I can assure you there is not a single component in our head that is used in any other manufacturer’s products— our housing, electronic boards, firmware and hardware are all designed and developed by us and manufactured right here in Indiana. To say we have stolen anything is incendiary and just plain misinformed.
If you look at the timeline, our CineDrive system, which was launched in 2012, had the same L-shaped design 4 years prior to our competitors even announcing their product, and we never had the audacity to make any claims against them. The simple L-shaped design wasn’t invented by them, or us. These are rudimentary mechanics and foundational principals of engineering, and the reason they are applied in every head out there is because they work. Anything more would be flourish without utility. Adding superfluous modifications ultimately punishes the customer, with a higher price tag and no additional benefit.
This product has been designed from the ground up by listening to our customer base— it was commissioned by the users of motion control. Based on your suggestions, and comments about the lack of options and underperforming features currently available on the market. We added the option for hardwiring motors because people wanted more dependability, we added an on-board controller because other heads out there force you to use a third party controller to operate their head and were prone to disconnecting. We provided several ways to power the head because you weren’t happy with internal batteries. We rigorously tested, and bested what is available for camera weight capacity with heads in the same price point. We listened to all of your current issues and worked tirelessly to develop a product that meets and exceeds your expectations, and we would like to invite anyone who still believes we have taken anything from anyone to do some further research before you go making broad claims about our product and what it is capable of.
I am fully staking my reputation on this product and ecosystem we have developed here, and stand behind what we have accomplished. We greatly look forward to the release of Cineshooter to put an end to the rhetoric, and for the skeptics to see just how capable and powerful this system truly is, and to those who have provided valuable feedback, we sincerely thank you for your support and look forward to giving you what you’ve been asking for.
I will leave you without further commenting on the issue, as I have voiced my personal opinion about the allegations in the comments of the original article. Always be critical, but I strongly suggest that one needs to thoroughly research the factual situation of any topic before vocalizing any judgement. Many people seem much more willing to voice their critique in writing online than they would in person.