How will this new animatronic groot change the game?
Robots always seem like a thing of the distant future, but basically they are here now. Disney has always been known for its innovative ideas and its imagineers often work at the forefront of technology.
Well, recently they debuted a walking groot and it’s not a man in the suit. It is a full-fledged animatronic robot that can walk, wave and behave independently. It took about three years to develop this technology, and it has to be seen to be believed. Listen.
A few weeks ago, I saw Disney Imagineering’s latest achievement – a walking, talking, bipedal robotics platform called Project Kiwi. It’s a milestone in this kind of robotics. Read how the team created it here: https://t.co/x97mJL6TdU pic.twitter.com/3pH0N9JIFI
– Matthew Panzarino (@panzer) April 23, 2021
All of this was done through something that was named Kiwi project. The goal of Project Kiwi was to develop a battery-powered two-legged robot that can move freely and interact autonomously with guests.
“”The KIWI project began about three years ago to see how we could authentically bring our smaller characters to life on their actual scale, ”said Scott LaValley, Imagineer, Research and Development. “It’s an exciting time for bipedal robotics and with an incredible team and our combination of technology, art and magic we’re bringing characters to life that only Disney could have done.”
Check out this video from TechCrunch and let’s talk after the break.
The idea is for this groot to wander around the park and make the tourists happy. But you also need to think about the implications for Hollywood. It won’t be long before we can program performance into these robots. They can be taught to hit a mark, say a line, and new mechanics make body language a breeze.
While this seems to be going on for a few more years, I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney started using these robots in movies and TV shows very soon, even if I just tested the technology in the real world.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.