By being imperfect and “human-like” robots are finding new ways to connect with humans.


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A robot that will “bring out a characters’ personality” was unveiled at during Disney Parks’ appearance at South by Southwest (SXSW).


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During the presentation called “The Art & Science Behind Disney’s Timeless Storytelling,” the robotic bunny climbed out of a box and onto the stage doing a neat forward roll in the process.


Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro and Walt Disney Imagineers Tony Dohi, Tony Dibani and Morgan Pope spoke about the technology that the company has been developing that can have “an emotional connection” with park guests.


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On stage, the robot bunny showed off different skills such as rollerblading, somersaulting as well as falling down and getting back up which are said to be a “new way to bring out a characters’ personality.”

“Robotics is all about precision, repeatability … and inhuman perfection,” Pope said, “we are using high-performance materials, and taking advantage of mechanical scaling effects – so she’s dynamic and tough. But we’re also using motion capture data because we want to make performances that have emotion embedded in them.”


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Dohi and Pope who are behind the Spider-Man robot that performs backflips in Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure noted the purpose of utilising this creation.

“Can we make an audience actually feel anxious for our little robot here if we ask her to premiere her big stunt in front of this huge… crowd?” Diho explained.


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On Linkedin, Martin Harbech who is Group Director at Meta shared a clip of the robotic bunny in action.

“If you don’t believe humans will one day have robot companions, this 90-sec clip is really worth watching,” he wrote in a post. “Pay special attention to the instant emotional reaction from the audience … after just a minute with her.'”


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At the moment the robot is nameless but it has had comparisons it to rabbit Judy Hopps, from Disney’s Oscar-winning 2016 animated movie, Zootopia.

Disney did not confirm whether park guests will see this robot at their parks in the future but they did also show off other creations they’ve been working on.

One of those being another “blue-sky” meet-and-greet concept where fans have a live conversation with pixie-sized Tinker Bell and during the demonstration answered questions while she appeared in a lantern.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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