Disney ’s robot stunt doubles – Stuntronics are too impressive

Disney - stuntronics

I felt like I was watching some sci-fi movie while seeing this video uploaded by TechCrunch. Just the thought of watching this in real life blows me away. Disney doesn’t need artificial stunt men when they already have real stunt men and CGI in movies, but these are for the theme parks. Disney Land had been looking for something more “alive and moving” as the theme park’s animatronics its known for, began struggling to meet expectations from audiences. So Disney Imagineers came up with this amazing idea of Stuntronics – more advance animatronic that can . They started working on the project called BRICK (Binary Robotic Inertially Controlled bricK) where robots have the ability to change their center of mass to control their spin to hit a precise orientation at a precise height to nail the landing every time. These stuntronics can leap to a height of 30 fts and can perform various actions as you can see this in the video.

This is what Tony Dohi, Principal R&D Imagineer and Morgan Pope, Associate Research Scientist at Disney said about the project.

“So what this is about is the realization we came to after seeing where our characters are going on screen,” says Dohi, “whether they be Star Wars characters, or Pixar characters, or Marvel characters or our own animation characters, is that they’re doing all these things that are really, really active. And so that becomes the expectation our park guests have that our characters are doing all these things on screen — but when it comes to our attractions, what are our animatronic figures doing? We realized we have kind of a disconnect here.”

Disney - Stuntronics
A Stuntronic taking a leap

So they came up with the concept of a stunt double – stuntronics for the ‘hero’ animatronic figures that could take their place within a show or scene to perform more aggressive maneuvering, much in the same way a double replaces an actor in a dangerous scene.