Stuntmen and acrobats have entertained us for years, but there’s one thing humans can’t do: fly. Even the static robots at Disney, while lifelike, have been stuck in their seats. With heroes like Spider-Man and other dynamic characters filling the silver screen, these ground-bound robots are out of date. Now, Disney Imagineering is creating what they call a “Stuntronics” robot. These humanoid creations soar, pose, and flip through the air like the superheroes we see on screen. It could change Disney shows and maybe even movies forever.
How do the robots work?
The robot is built with gyroscope arrays used for navigation, an on-board accelerometer for speed, and other high-tech gear that allows the unit to be autonomous and self-correcting. This means it’s able to fix its trajectory mid-air in order to hit its predesignated landing. These are “smart” robots who can learn. Right now, the metal superheroes can’t land on their own – they fall into safety nets, but engineers are working on hardware to control the legs.
What does this mean For The future Of stunts?
It’ll be some time before visitors to Disney parks can see Stuntronics in action, but the prospect is exciting. Decorated in the costumes of superheroes like Iron Man, these robots will make shows more real, especially to kids. Could this technology make its way into other venues? The Broadway show “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” faced constant problems because actors kept injuring themselves attempting the high-flying stunts. Could a robotic stuntman make shows safer? And what about films? Right now, CGI handles the bulk of the flying and soaring, but is there also a place for humanoid robots? Film franchises like Jurassic Park rely on lifelike animatronics for their dinosaurs, so ones that can take to the skies would fit right in.