With its Kiwi Project, Disney wants to robotize iconic characters

With its Kiwi Project, Disney wants to robotize iconic characters

Robotics has made huge strides in recent years. Disney is also very interested in this branch, especially for its theme parks.

Robots move at high speed. These are more and more capable, more and more efficient and realistic, and are proving useful in all fields. A giant like Disney may need it, whether for its movies, of course, or for its theme parks. This is also an area in which its subsidiary Walt Disney Imagineering R&D Inc. works a lot. And the Kiwi Project may be of great interest to you.

Disney unveils a very impressive new robot, its Project Kiwi

Spot better beware, there is a new adorable robot in town and this one might convince you more easily. You or your children. Insofar as this one is one of the most popular Disney characters. In a recent article, TechCrunch details the Kiwi Project, a robotics platform under development within the research and development studio. Walt Disney Imagineering R&D Inc. After now three years of work, this platform helps to unveil this little robot that can move, act on its own and take the form of many different characters including, as you can see Baby Groot.

For future characters larger than life in its theme parks

With its Wiki Project, the studio could create an actor robot that would one day come to play guests in Disney theme parks to give viewers the impression of being in front of their favorite characters. When the team started working on the project, then there were no robots, they started making their own. The majority of the components of this Kiwi Project are “homemade” components and there are a number of very interesting features. Mention will be made, for example, of a hollow skeleton which makes it possible to circulate air to cool the motors and other mechanisms.

While this robot is indeed an impressive innovation, and in so many ways, don’t expect to see it at a Disney park anytime soon. Walt Disney Imagineering R&D Inc. told TechCrunch that they still have a lot of work to do before their Kiwi Project can leave the lab. One of the areas for improvement, for example, will be to integrate a new set of mechanics to better equip the robot, and in particular to allow it to manage sudden events, such as a child running on the robot to give a hug. The team is also working on a new sensor that should allow Kiwi to better understand its environment and identify human faces. Battery life is also a point of improvement. The current model can only last 45 minutes on a single charge.