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Disney Packs Big Emotion into Little Robot

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The new robot.

Explained Disney's Georg Wiedebach, “In situations where humans and robots are close to each other, conveying emotion and intent can be an important feature.”

Credit: Evan Ackerman

A team of Disney Research scientists in Zurich, Switzerland, unveiled a bipedal robotic character combining a child-size frame with stubby legs, wiggling antennae, and an expressive walk at the 2023 IEEE/Robotics Society of Japan International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems last week

The mostly three-dimensionally-printed robot has a four-degrees-of-freedom head and five-degrees-of-freedom legs with hip joints so it can perambulate while balancing dynamically.

Disney's Michael Hopkins said the design team included an animator to help the robot walk in a manner that conveys emotions.

The researchers' reinforcement learning-based pipeline integrates robust robotic movement with an animator's vision through simulation.

Disney's Moritz Bächer said the team was able to develop the robot character in months rather than years because the pipeline can condense years of behavioral training into a few hours.

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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