Disney has long been an innovator of animatronic technology, so it only makes sense they’d be among the leaders when it comes to autonomous technology as well. And while they aren’t in the market of self-driving cars, they are in the business of making flying robots.
While most assume companies like Disney would be fine using CGI to advance technology, Disney Imagineers have taken it a step further by crafting their own autonomous superhero, which not only can fly, but slow itself down in mid-air enough to strike a pose.
It’s not known where or how these robots will be used, though it’s presumably safe to assume they’ll be on the set of live-action films produced by Disney. In addition, the autonomous superhero’s are likely to debut in some of Disney’s theme parks as well.
Morgan Pope, an associate research scientist at Disney, talked to TechCrunch about the animatronic robots and what it’s like to control them.
“When you’re flying through the air, you can have a little bit of function and you can produce a lot of stuff that looks pretty good, because of this really neat physics opportunity,” says Pope. “You’ve got these beautiful kinds of parabolas and sine waves that just kind of fall out of rotating and spinning through the air in ways that are hard for people to predict, but that look fantastic.”
Disney believes the robots will not only help bring new acrobatics to their theme park shows, but will provide a much safer avenue for their real-life human counterparts, who often find themselves in precarious and somewhat dangerous stunt situations.