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Photo via YouTube/Disney Research
Photo via YouTube/Disney Research

Your favorite Disney characters at its theme parks might soon be robots.

Disney Research is developing a way to bring some of its most popular animated characters to life. One day, hopefully soon, fans might able to walk alongside, take pictures — and maybe even talk — with non-human characters from films like Toy StoryWall-E and Frozen. 

“Creating robots that embody animation characters in the real world is highly demanded in the entertainment industry because such robots would allow people to physically interact with characters that they have only seen in films or TV,” they write in the research paper.

The researchers describe the build process here:

We develop a bipedal robot which corresponds to lower part of the character following its kinematic structure. The links are 3D printed and the joints are actuated by servo motors. Using trajectory optimization, we generate an open-loop walking trajectory that mimics the character’s walking motion by modifying the motion such that the Zero Moment Point stays in the contact convex hull. The walking is tested on the developed hardware system.

You can watch the video below, which simplifies the process behind the build, or read the paper here to get the more technical aspects. Tomorrowland might not be that far away.

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