I AM GROOT | Disney Imagineers Begin Testing Free-Roaming Robot at Disneyland

Baby Groot looks ready for prime time, but Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development aren’t turning him loose in Disney Parks just yet. The prototype is being used to test capabilities for the tech’s use for similar characters (give us Grogu too!) to interact with human performers and audiences. Imagineering describes this creation as a “free-roaming robotic actor that can take on the role of our similarly-sized Disney characters. Its tightly integrated design provides over 50 degrees of freedom in a compact platform that can walk, gesture, and emote in style. Using custom authoring tools that combine whole-body motion planning and traditional character animation, artists can quickly bring robotic characters to life with expressive motions and interactive behaviors.”


Well, there’s certainly nothing Westworld-y about any of that. Who would you like to see become our next robot overlord—er, become a cute character to interact with at Disney Parks?

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.



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