Next Disney Audio-Animatronics Walk, Talk, Feel
Walt Disney Imagineering has long set the standard for innovative design and boundary-pushing technology. In a piece today in the New York Times though, it appears that the next phase of imagineering really pushes the robots into a much more realistic, artificially intelligent phase.
“A new trend that is coming into our animatronics is a level of intelligence, … More believable. More outrageous … This guy represents our future … It’s part of how we stay relevant,” said Senior Imagineering Executive Jon Snoddy in the Times article.
Disney wants the robots in its parks to come alive. One goal: Setting them free from the confines of the rides and letting them wander walkways to turn the parks into, as one executive put it, “inhabited places.” https://t.co/UGlTjq0Cjw
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 19, 2021
Artificial Reality Expands Imagineering
The writer of the piece specifically first met an emotional and inquisitive Groot who thinks, speaks, and moves all on his own. Disney imagineers specifically referenced a need for the technology in the parks to continue to push the limits of what people dream as possible, as they always have done. However, with the next generations of imagineers receiving their first forays into technology before they even learn to read, staying ahead of them will prove to be a long-term challenge.
Video Credit: Walt Disney Imagineering
The Groot audio-animatronic actually debuted in April at a press event hosted by Josh D’Amaro, Chariman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
“We have big plans for our future and we’re going to need next level dreamers to make it happen. That’s why we’re bringing together a highly talented multidisciplinary team that is tasked with exploring groundbreaking ideas that shape the future of the guest experience and help us stay relevant for decades to come,” D’Amaro said according to the OC Register.
The spring brought the first of these mind-blowing audio-animatronic figures to Disney parks with the incredible debut of the Spider-Man audio-animatronic at Avengers Campus, which is located in Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort.
Image Credit: Walt Disney Imagineering