Ashley Wilson

It always seems that Disney is coming up with the next best thing and even a pandemic can’t stop that!

Disney researchers are now developing a new audio-animatronic figure with subtle eye and head movements that could allow characters like Captain Jack Sparrow in Disneyland and Disney World attractions to engage in more lifelike human-robot interactions.

The next-generation audio-animatronic was developed by Walt Disney Imagineering’s Advanced Development team, Disney Research innovation lab, California Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and uses “realistic gaze” to identify people so the robot can turn to face and engage with them.

A series of smaller motions allow the highly animated and articulated robot to create the illusion of life. The animatronic’s head rises and falls subtly to simulate breathing. Quick, darting eye movements by the animatronic create the illusion of examining a person’s entire face. The animatronic can even momentarily shift its gaze in reaction to a sudden sound in the distance before refocusing on a person’s face.

The next-gen animatronics with the lifelike gaze are not expected to appear in Disney theme parks for several years. However, other new animatronics from Imagineering are heading to Disney’s Anaheim theme parks soon!

What do you think about this new tech at Disney, awesome or would it creep you out?

#LosAngeles #Disney

almost 2 years ago
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