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Disney Research Robot Can Juggle, Play Catch

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the complete-with-creepy-face dept.

Robotics 40

Zothecula writes "With the aim of providing some physical interaction between entertainment robots and guests at its theme parks, while still maintaining a safe distance between the two, Disney Research has created an animatronic robot that can play catch and juggle balls with a human partner. Caught balls are thrown back 2.5 meters (8 ft) to the thrower, while the developers have given the robot several different animations that play out when it drops a ball. These include a shaking of the head, looking behind, looking down, or a shrug of the shoulders."

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40 comments

boredom (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42081629)

boredom -____-

They'll be giving them machine guns next.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42081633)

They'll be giving them machine guns next and selling them to the Army.

Imagine the terror as a heavily armed platoon of robotic Mickey Mice advances!

Re:They'll be giving them machine guns next.. (4, Funny)

Bill Wong (583178) | about a year ago | (#42081673)

imagine two opposing robot armies tossing grenades back and forth...

Re:They'll be giving them machine guns next.. (2)

StripedCow (776465) | about a year ago | (#42081759)

Imagine such a robot being able to catch flying bullets. That would make one heck of a bodyguard.

Re:They'll be giving them machine guns next.. (1)

zrbyte (1666979) | about a year ago | (#42081725)

That robot looks like the Terminator, only that it's grinning.

Re:They'll be giving them machine guns next.. (4, Funny)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year ago | (#42081997)

Head is kind of a Lyle Lovett rictus. It looks much less T1 in closeup, though, but still uncanny. Say the following in a laconic drawl: "Nice night for a walk."

Re:They'll be giving them machine guns next.. (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a year ago | (#42082229)

"Head is kind of a Lyle Lovett rictus."

That is hilarious, although I got the impression of a relative of Max Headroom.

Interesting that they made it a lefty. Also, from the photos it appears as though the computer vision cameras are not in the robot but rather perpendicular to the line between robot and participant.

Re:They'll be giving them machine guns next.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42081731)

Sure, but they'll shrug comically once they've gunned you down.

The happiest war on earth!

Re:They'll be giving them machine guns next.. (2)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year ago | (#42083167)

That's ok, they're all taught to catch grenades! (although you might want to use magnetic grenades to stop them throwing it back at you....)

Does it scratch it's balls? (1)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about a year ago | (#42081717)

Gratuitous ball scratching seems to be a mainstay of American baseball. And why are all the camera shots center on ball(s) in base ball?

Re:Does it scratch it's balls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42081849)

Stupid comment by a stupid person who thinks it should "scratch it is balls".

Disney... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42081721)

For a company catering to both children and adults, they seem to hate humans quite a lot. Coupled with the mafiaa thing, they kind of remind me of a network administrator that says, the perfect network has no users.

Westworld (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42081747)

Here we come...

File under (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42081749)

fucking goofy

A step back (4, Funny)

arielCo (995647) | about a year ago | (#42081753)

Maybe they are cutting costs, but this is an inferior alternative to their current, proven approach: Disney Lab Unveils Its Latest Line Of Genetically Engineered Child Stars [theonion.com]

Re:A step back (1)

epSos-de (2741969) | about a year ago | (#42084241)

Yes, yes. Disney wants to reduce the cost of having real friends. They always wanted to keep kids indoors, so that they watch more of their content from the age of 0. In reality Disney is harming the children, who develop attention disorders from their colorful cartoons, if they are exposed to them before the age of 6 or so. And now they want to replace real human friends with robots too. Keep your kids away from TV and Disney robots, if you want less drama at home. That is what the good type of parenting magazines claim today.

Deja Vu The Simpsons - Itchy & Scratchy Land (2)

dav1dc (2662425) | about a year ago | (#42081819)

Is anyone else getting the weirdest sense of Deja Vu about the Itchy & Scratchy Land episode of The Simpsons where all the robots in the theme park starting going NuTz?!?! :S

Re:Deja Vu The Simpsons - Itchy & Scratchy Lan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42081859)

Not me. Some of us do better things than watch moronic TV shows like trolling on Slashdot.

imagine a disney robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42081831)

posting AC on /.
lmao captcha -circus

It's all fun and games until... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42081863)

A bird flies past the thrower and the robot decides it is a ball and starts tossing dead birds at the guests.

Needed in Accounting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42081865)

If it juggle balls, it could do the same for their books.

Soon (1)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#42081869)

Soon, they'll be given light sabers

Re:Soon (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#42084537)

It's all part of Disney's plan to take over the world. Step 1 was buying LucasFilm for their secret Real Lightsaber division. Step 2 is highly flexible robots. Step 3 is create their own army of Sith Robots. Please just submit because if that doesn't work, they unleash the army of Robotic Jar-Jar Binks'!

Kinect? Maybe. (3, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | about a year ago | (#42082063)

According the the video, they're using a Kinect for 3D tracking of the ball. That's pretty good resolution to result in high enough mechanical precision to make a catch. Also would reduce the cost of this project by a small fortune.

However, the article differs from the video. The article says "A Kalman filter algorithm is used to analyze video captured on an external camera system consisting of a Kinect-like ASUS Xtion PRO LIVE to track a colored ball in three-dimensional space and predict its destination and timing."

While the video specifically says "An off the shelf Microsoft Kinect with color and depth cameras is used to obtain the 3D position of colored balls."

Re:Kinect? Maybe. (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#42082759)

So far, human brains have been superior for their ability to anticipate and catch a ball in flight, a lot of math is involved. A lot. Looks like that gap between robots and humans is getting smaller. I'm not 'too' worried, yet.

Dropped ball? (2, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#42082075)

If it was true AI, it would have learned to look at the referee and claim to have been fouled.

Holy shit! Next SW movie to have a real clone army (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42082251)

Holy shit! So the next SW movie will have a real clone army ?! That's AWESOME ! no wonder Lucas sold out !

Forget Dad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083871)

You can now play catch with Mickey.

The burning question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083995)

Yes, but can they sue?

Skin Wanted. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42084071)

Disney is going to be asking for flesh donations during their fundraisers from now on.

They'll be doing PIXAR storyboards next (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a year ago | (#42084295)

Although the animators will always be Korean slaves. Thankfully they can't take those jobs away from us meat.

Cool Stuff! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42085083)

Very cool stuff! Especially considering I know the narrator and one of the "tossers".

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