Disney has been giving us a ton of news to get excited about lately.
From a new high-tech ride opening next month in Disney World to a reimagined Toontown opening soon in Disneyland and a peek at how character meet-and-greets could CHANGE — there’s a lot to look forward to. Often, Disney wows us with cutting-edge theme park technology, and recently we got a look at some exciting robot developments that they’ve been working on.
Earlier this year we learned that Josh D’Amaro, the the the Chairperson of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts would be a featured speaker at SXSW (also known as South by Southwest). This conference focuses on topics like technology, film, culture, and music — and today, D’Amaro delivered!
In his session titled “Creating Happiness: The Art & Science of Disney Parks Storytelling,” D’Amaro shared a peek at a NEW roller-skating ROBOT.
Here’s another peek at this new robot!
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According to Disney, this robot “incorporates motion-capture data to create performances that evoke emotion, giving Disney Imagineers a new way to bring out a character’s personality.”
During the conference, the robot “demonstrated its ability to make dynamic maneuvers, including falling down and getting back up, as well as a somersault.” It will be interesting to see how this impressive technology translates to character experiences in the parks! For now, this is merely a “prototype robot” that was displayed.
Does anything look familiar about that robot? The ears and eyes are giving us some Judy Hopps vibes!
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time we’ve noticed Disney working on robot technology with a potential rabbit theme. Some time ago, we shared a bit about a Disney patent that featured a robot with some Judy Hopps-type looks as well. The patent was for a “Legged High-dexterity Self-balancing Capable Robot Actor” — essentially a robot that’s capable of standing on its own without support structures and moving in a realistic fashion.
This patent, combined with the robot display, could totally change the way characters are represented in Disney Parks. We could see a true-to-movie-size character frolicking around at some point in the future.
With all of this robot news, we can’t help but think about our little friend, the life-size walking Baby Groot animatronic. We’ll be fascinated to see if and how these technologies ultimately get used in the future to bring incredibly unique character interactions to the parks.
We’ll keep an eye out for any updates. Stay tuned to AllEars for more!
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How do you think Disney will use this new technology? Let us know in the comments!