Disney is testing out stunts robots that can be catapulted in air to provide entertainment for children and their parents at Disneyland.
The humanlike robots would be used as stunt doubles for animatronic creatures that would break if thrown in the air.
The stuntronics were developed as part of Disney’s Stickman project, but morphed into stunt robots when engineers realised the potential (and entertainment value) of flinging robots into the air.
Stickman was one of the company’s many robotic experiments. It was a robot that could perform backflips and other gymnastic moves, although it wasn’t the most attractive looking robot – hence its name Stickman.
In trials of the stuntronics, the robot looks like Ironman. Everything about it can be controlled remotely, including its pose, rotation, and centre of mass, which will make it twist and turn. Its limbs can also be controlled and a video released of the humanoid shows it striking the Superman pose.
It’s not clear exactly when visitors to Disney’s parks will be available to view, the video suggests they’re pretty far along in their development.
“So what this is about is the realization we came to after seeing where our characters are going on screen,” Tony Dohi, principal research and development Imagineer at Disney told Techcrunch.
“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.”