Disney made automated stunt robots because why not?


I for one welcome our new acrobatic autonomous overlords

For years Disney has been known for their elaborate attractions and stage shows that run every day at their theme parks. From the mundane such as Pirates of the Caribbean to the explosive Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, these attractions have been a major part of why people keep coming back to the expensive theme parks. But a lot of this tech has been around for years, and with Disney acquiring more action-oriented IPs like Marvel and Star Wars there comes a need for more advanced tech, enter the terribly named but awesomely interesting Stuntronics project.

Coming from a research project based around seeing if a brick could maintain its center of gravity while spinning in the air and “land” correctly every time, Stuntronics is a line of human-shaped skeletal systems that do just that, stick their landing every time. Using a series of rangefinders, accelerometers, gyroscopes, and a pendulum launch system, the Stuntronic robot can launch itself in the air and do a range of stunts without the risk of human error or injury. An early prototype can be seen below.

After this prototype which was shown a month ago, the team started working on the human-shaped version that you see below. This type of advanced stunt-bot will surely come in handy for the IMG Worlds of Adventure Marvel theme park in Dubai, and in the planned Star Wars expansions to Disney Land. Unfortunately Universal still retains the rights to Marvel in theme parks east of the Mississippi so the grounds that are more easily able to expand won’t be able to use the Marvel properties for the foreseeable future. Who knows though, maybe we’ll be seeing these robots make their way into movies as stunt doubles to replace some CGI shots.

There is a much more in-depth and technical look at everything that goes into this new tech at the source below that uses terms that go above my paygrade so if the spirit wills you give it a read. Ordinarily I would fear something like this as one of the things that our future robot overlords will use as evidence of our crimes against them but this seems to be less AI and more automated reactionary systems. Still, Disney has stated that they want fully bipedal walking robots so our robotic overlords might not be too far behind these stunt-bots.

Disney Imagineering has created autonomous robot stunt doubles [TechCrunch]