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The heart of tech

This article was published on November 29, 2016

    Disney’s new animatronic robots are getting too realistic for me

    Juan Buis
    Story by

    Juan Buis

    Digital Culture Reporter

    Juan Buis is TNW's Digital Culture Reporter, and you should click here. Juan Buis is TNW's Digital Culture Reporter, and you should click here.

    Disney will soon be opening a new Avatar-themed experience in Disneyworld Florida, and a group of the brand’s biggest fans got to see a preview last week.

    One of the highlights of the ride are the ridiculously realistic Na’vi robots that talk to the visitors. The movie’s CGI already looked stunning, but these animatronics are just ridiculously realistic.

    Disney’s Imagineering team has been experimenting with various ways to bring its famous characters to life, like mixing animatronics with digital screens and hopping one-legged robots.

    If you wouldn’t have told me I was looking at a robot, I would’ve thought it was pure CGI — there’s almost no signs of the scene being real. Only a few characteristics reveal it’s a puppet, like the awkward mouth movement at 0:05 and the dead look in its eyes.

    But if this is the future of theme park technology, consider me impressed.