Disney Files Patent for New Robotic Actor

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Disney has just filed a new patent for a “Legged High-dexterity Self-balancing Capable Robot Actor.” The new patent was filed on 11/26/2020 and features plans to create an “AI” or artificial intelligence robot for use in parks.

The patent states the following:

A robot actor, or character mobility hardware platform, adapted to unleash or provide a wide variety of characters in the physical world. The robot actor enables the often screen-constrained characters to become life-like, interactive participants with nearby people in ways not presently achievable. The robot actor is an untethered, free-roaming robot that is has two (or more) legs, is adapted for high dexterity, is controlled and designed to be self-balancing, and, due to this combination of characteristics, the robot can provide characters with an illusion of life and, in many cases, in correct proportion and scale. The hardware and software of the robot actor will become a new generation of animatronic figures by providing a hardware platform capable of continuously evolving to become more capable through advances in controls and artificial intelligence

The uses for the robot include:

  • bringing characters to life in the physical world, comprising: movable components; memory storing a set of animations, motion parameters, or scripts defining a set of gestures and a set of movements for each of a plurality of moods or emotions, wherein the set of animations or scripts are generated based on one of the characters; and a controller located onboard the robot, wherein the robot is untethered and free-ranging in a physical space, wherein the controller determines, in real time, a present mood or emotion associated with the robot, wherein the controller selects one of the sets of gestures or one of the sets of movements based on the present mood or emotion, and wherein the controller operates a set of actuators to operate the movable components using the selected one of the sets of gestures or the sets of movements, whereby the robot is operated to provide an illusion of life.