Disney Imagineers are always surprising us with the technology they come up with for rides and experiences in Disney Parks.
From the ride mechanics of Rise of the Resistance to the animatronic Baby Grogu to the massive Hulk greeting guests, Disney is always experimenting with tech. That’s why we were so interested when Imagineers began testing out the most adorable free-roaming robots in Disneyland. But what comes next for those robots?
Recently, a small army of BD-1 droid units roamed all over Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland in a test to see how they work and can interact with the environment, as well as guests. The robots were part of what Disney calls a “robotic character pipeline.”
Imagineers worked with animators to design these little characters “capable of great balance and highly expressive motions.” These prototype robots combine “procedural animation, modular hardware, and reinforcement learning” so that Imagineers can quickly design and program a character that can walk and move with “unique gaits and traits.”
After the test, Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, and R&D Imagineers shared what they learned working with these little guys, as well as discussed what comes next for the technology with Disney CEO Bob Iger and Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro.
Although we don’t have any word on whether these BD-1 units will return to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland or Disney World for more exploration, we’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for them and any similar technology that Imagineers are working on.
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What do you think of these BD-1 units and this technology? Let us know in the comments.