Disney Imagineers Begin Testing Free-Roaming Robot Groot at the Disneyland Resort

Disney has shared a first look at a new free-roaming robotic Groot that is currently testing with select guests at the Disneyland Resort.

What’s Happening:

  • Recently, Disney Imagineers began testing their free-roaming robot at Disney California Adventure. This prototype robot of Groot is one of many ways Walt Disney Imagineers are developing new & innovative ways to bring stories to life in Disney Parks.
  • Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development is developing a small-scale, free-roaming robotic actor that can take on the role of 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.
  • There are no immediate plans for use in Disney theme parks; however, a prototype in the form of Groot is being used to test unique traits, gaits and capabilities.
  • You can see Groot testing in a dance-off with Star Lord in the video below, along with some insight from Imagineer Joel Peavy and Michael Serna of Disney Live Entertainment:

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Luke Manning
Luke is a fan of all things theme parks and self-proclaimed #1 fan of Joffrey’s Coffee, who lives in Kissimmee, FL