Disney’s New Robot Looks Scary And Realistic

Disney Research engineers created a prototype of a humanoid robotic head with realistic facial expressions. The Disney robot can even make “eye contact”.

The new Disney robot drew attention for its somewhat “peculiar” appearance.

Disney Research engineers created a prototype of a humanoid robotic head with realistic facial expressions.

The real look system makes human robots look more alive. Thus giving them the opportunity to have a kind of “eye contact” with people in their neighborhood and to make small facial movements.

The engineers used one of the robots already assembled with a trunk and head. They used neck, eyes, eyelids and eyebrows, although the robot can also move its lips and jaw.

In addition, they equipped the robot with a camera deep in his chest so that he could see the people in front of him and react to them.

New Disney Robot
DisneyResearchHub presented on its YouTube channel that describes the development of a realistic looking system for interactions between humans and robots using the animatronic bust of a humanoid.

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The robot gives the impression of perceiving people in its environment, identifying them and reacting according to their actions. He selects an appropriate look and performs faithful movements to respond to stimuli.

When a person appears in the camera’s field of view, the robot creates a cinematic skeleton (a diagram of body parts) for him.

Based on the speed and direction of the movement, the distance to the person and whether he or she salutes, for example, waving a hand, the robot determines the level of interest and decides whether it needs to react.

If a person approaches a humanoid, either looks at it with disapproval or, if he has seen it, recognizes and reacts in a friendly manner.

The Disney robot also has an addictive mechanism. If he makes eye contact with a person, the algorithm linearly decreases his rate of interest over time.

Engineers note that the new features significantly increase the character’s realism, but recognize some limitations.

One is that, in the current version, the robot’s eyes are positioned so that they are parallel and the focus is adjusted to infinity. In close contact, this creates the impression that the robot is not looking at the person, but through it.

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