When Disney made the announcement that Avengers Campus would be opening in Disneyland this summer, they squeezed in some BIG teasers at the end of their media presentation.
Josh D’Amaro wrapped it all up by revealing a REAL lightsaber and then they cued up a behind-the-scenes video of a walking Baby Groot animatronic (!!). We weren’t allowed to share any images of the media presentation, but we FINALLY have a look at one of the big teasers!
Thanks to Matthew Panzarino with Tech Crunch, Disney’s new Groot Animatronic (known by Disney Imagineers as Project Kiwi) has been revealed! And, it sounds like we’re well on our way to being able to meet and interact with the first life-like robotic character in the parks.
The project started three years ago, as Disney Imagineers worked to create their first-ever “small-scale, free-roaming robotic actor.” And, according to Panzarino, who had a chance to see Groot in action, he walks with the gait that you would expect, sways, swings his arms, and even can wave at people with expressions you’d expect from a real-life Groot.
So, how did Disney bring this little guy to life? Disney had to build a brand new robotic unlike any seen before. They began with the legs and moved up, finding new and innovative ways to make a robot feel and look like a human (well, a human-like tree being). They even made sure that the exterior is textured just like you’d expect when meeting Groot yourself and he’s dressed in his flight suit from the movies.
You can watch the whole process and see Baby Groot in action in the behind-the-scenes video below!
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What do you think of the new animatronic? Let us know in the comments!