Disney Robot Debuts at SXSW

The robot, modeled after bunny rabbit character Judy Hopps, somersaulted and rollerbladed around the stage

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

March 13, 2023

1 Min Read

Disney debuted a new robot prototype at SXSW 2023 this week in Austin, Texas.

The robot demonstration took place during a presentation by Josh D’Amaro, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products chairman.

Designed to look like the bunny rabbit character Judy Hopps from the movie ‘Zootopia,’ the robot was unveiled by climbing out of a box, rollerblading across the stage and doing somersaults.

The robot's movements were deliberately clumsy at first, similar to how a human would react to donning rollerblades for the first time, in what the team said was an effort to make the robot more approachable to humans.

"This is our latest effort in making robots that we think can have an emotional connection with our guests," said Tony Dohi, principal research and development Imagineer at Walt Disney Imagineering.

"We are using high-performance materials and taking advantage of mechanical scaling effects, so she's dynamic and tough. But we're also using motion-capture data because we want to make performances that have emotion embedded in them."

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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