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Disney has a creepy new robot you can play catch with

He even shrugs if he misses the ball.
Dec 1st 2012, 9:45 AM 4,304 7

WHO WOULDN’T WANT to play catch — or even juggle — with a robot while you are walking through an amusement park?

Disney’s research group in Pittsburgh recently released this video showing their progress on just such a juggling robot. It’s pretty creepy.

Here’s their reasoning, from the YouTube video:

Entertainment robots in theme park environments typically do not allow for physical interaction and contact with guests. However, catching and throwing back objects is one form of physical engagement that still maintains a safe distance between the robot and participants. Using a theme park type animatronic humanoid robot, we developed a test bed for a throwing and catching game scenario.

The system uses an external camera to track the balls, and they’ve even developed gestures for the robot if it misses the ball — catch them in the video below:


- Jennifer Welsh

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