To level up the animatronic characters in their parks around the globe, Disney Imagineering has created autonomous robot stunt doubles that can perform “extreme aerial maneuvers 60 feet in the air, making real-time decisions for when to tuck, turn, and stick the perfect landing.” Via TechCrunch:
Built out of a research experiment called Stickman… Stuntronics are autonomous, self-correcting aerial performers that make on-the-go corrections to nail high-flying stunts every time. Basically robotic stuntpeople, hence the name…
“Whether they be Star Wars characters, or Pixar characters, or Marvel characters or our own animation characters, is that they’re doing all these things that are really, really active. And so that becomes the expectation our park guests have that our characters are doing all these things on screen — but when it comes to our attractions, what are our animatronic figures doing? We realized we have kind of a disconnect here.”
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Like real stunt people, the robot stunt doubles can sub in for actors during live performances. Unlike real stunt people, the robots have accelerometers, gyroscope arrays, laser rangefinders, and other engineering marvels that can help them calculate their trajectories as they fly.
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