Wally Gobetz, www.flickr.com
Meaghan Kirby
July 02, 2018 1:47 pm

In a move straight out of Tomorrowland, Disney is about to use robots in a brand new way. While visiting Disney Theme Parks always includes more spectacles than our eyes can handle, the bi-coastal and worldwide parks are stepping up their game in a big way.

For decades, Disney has been incorporating animatronic robots into various attractions, from the famed Hall of Presidents and franchise-inspiring Pirates of the Caribbean, to Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. But a new robotics project is taking the parks’ robot — and storytelling — capabilities to new heights…literally.

According to TechCrunch, Disney Imagineers have been working on a brand new project involving robots that perform stunts. The project, dubbed “Stuntronics” has created human-resembling robots for the purpose of serving as stunt doubles in attractions with “heroic” animatronic robots. The Stuntronics project is reportedly the result of an experiment with an earlier model known as “Stickman,” which could do basic stunts including flips.

However, Stuntronics robots have already surpassed Stickman in their capabilities as these new humanoids can not only perform stunts in air, but also strike a pose. And if that all sounds too crazy to believe, wait until you see it.

TechCrunch released a little glimpse at the Stuntronics project in action:

While the Hall of Presidents doesn’t necessarily need a Stuntronic robot — yet, at least — these new robots were designed to enhance the experience of visitors for more action-packed attractions, including the upcoming Marvel Land at Disneyland and both Star Wars locations.

Tony Dohi, principal research and development Imagineer, and Morgan Pope, associate research scientist at Disney, recently revealed to TechCrunch that with Disney properties housing so many active characters on-screen, the team wanted to ensure visitors had the same experience with the characters at the park. Borrowing from the concept of movie stunt doubles, Disney Imagineers decided to give their animatronic stunt doubles of their own.

“So what this is about is the realization we came to after seeing where our characters are going on screen,” Dohi said. “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.”

We seriously cannot wait to see a Stuntronic Avenger or Elastigirl in action soon.

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