Robot Characters? Disney Research reveals robot suited for ‘life-life interactions with people’

We all know that things are always evolving where Disney is concerned. This story struck me as interesting, and I wanted to share with you. Can you imagine, meeting your favorite characters at a Disney Park, but having it be a robot instead of an actual person? Sounds odd, right? I’m not sure what to think. Here’s the scoop from WESH News here in Orlando~


A robot that is so precise it can thread a needle may one day entertain guests at Walt Disney World.

Disney Research, a network of laboratories supporting the Walt Disney Company, released a a video last week showing off its “hybrid hydrostatic transmission and human-safe haptic telepresence robot.” That’s a fancy way of saying a human-operated robot that uses air and water lines for movement.

Disney has not released any plans to introduce the robots at its parks, but a release from Disney Research says the robots are suited for “life-life interactions with people.”

Here’s how it works:

Cameras mounted on the robot provide live video to an operator wearing a set of 3-D goggles. In real-time, the operator’s movements are mimicked by the robot. The hydraulic and pneumatic lines give the robot such a delicate touch, it can pick up an egg without breaking it.

“They have an incredible life-like nature, offering a combination of small mass, high speed and precise motion not seen before,” Vice President of Disney Research Jessica Hodgins said. “For now, the robot is remotely controlled by a human operator, but we would expect the same level of mechanical performance once the motions are automated.”

In the video released by Disney Research, the robot plays the xylophone, handles an egg, threads a needle, catches a balloon and interacts with a little girl.

Robots controlled by humans are nothing new. The innovative part of the Disney Research robot is its ability to mirror human motion and its fine control.

So what are your thought on this new technology? Be sure to tell us about it in the comments!

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

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