The small walking robot is being celebrated for its emotive features

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

October 11, 2023

1 Min Read
Disney's new bipedal robot
Walt Disney Imagineering

Disney has unveiled its latest foray into robots, with a small bipedal robot that can walk, dance and convey emotions.

The robot made its debut at the  IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Detroit earlier this month. 

The robot is mostly made up of 3D-printed parts with modular hardware and actuators, making it easily replicated and scaled up in the future.

A release from Walt Disney Imagineering said the new robotic character combines procedural animation, modular hardware, and reinforcement learning to design and program a walking character capable of unique “gaits and traits.” 

The design is a result of collaboration between animators and engineers, translating the expressive, personality-filled movements of animations into robotic form.

The team also said the design is moving rapidly through the development process, with indications that there will be more releases announced in the upcoming months. 

“[We’re doing this] within months, not years!” The statement said. “The ability to have a new robot design learn to imitate artistic motion in a simulation environment before it’s being built advances Imagineering’s innovation pipeline … and we can’t wait to see what more can be done with this exploration!”

Related:Disney Robot Debuts at SXSW

This is not Disney’s first character robot, with the company unveiling a robot based on its animated rabbit character, Judy Hopps, at SXSW in March. 

The robot was unveiled by climbing out of a box, rollerblading across the stage and doing somersaults.

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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