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Walt Disney Imagineering Premiers the Future of Robotic Technology With Duke Weaselton from Zootopia

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Walt Disney Imagineering Premiers the Future of Robotic Technology With Duke Weaselton from Zootopia
Walt Disney Imagineering Premiers the Future of Robotic Technology With Duke Weaselton from Zootopia

Walt Disney Imagineering Premiers the Future of Robotic Technology With Duke Weaselton from Zootopia. Just a few months ago we wrote about Disney Imagineering showing off some new robotic characters walking around Disneyland’s Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.

Disney Research team presented a brand new robotic character during their evening keynote address, and then a few days later the robots made their debut at Disneyland’s Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.

“Developed by the galaxy’s brightest minds, the latest free-roaming robotic characters are being tested by Imagineers in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at @disneyland today. A part of Disney’s robotic character pipeline, Imagineers have teamed up with animators to design characters capable of great balance and highly expressive motions.”

Yesterday, at the opening of Zootopia in Shanghai Disney, Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development (R&D), and Disney Research showed off the next iteration of animatronic technology.

During one of the grand opening events for Zootopia at Shanghai Disney Resort earlier today, Disney Experiences Chairman Josh D’Amaro was interrupted by a surprise appearance from Duke Weaselton, the mischievous weasel guests may remember from the Walt Disney Animation Studios film, “Zootopia.”

Duke Weaselton from Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Zootopia” on stage with Disney Experiences Chairman Josh D’Amaro for one of the grand opening ceremonies celebrating Zootopia at Shanghai Disney Resort
Walt Disney Imagineering Premiers the Future of Robotic Technology With Duke Weaselton from Zootopia

Related: Star Wars BD-1 Like Robot Makes Debut in New Adorable Video from Walt Disney Imagineering

Duke rolled across the stage pushing a purple kiosk and blasting pop music, hopped on top of the kiosk and then tried to persuade Josh to make him an honorary ambassador of Zootopia … along with a few extra perks. Of course, Josh didn’t fall for his scheme!

Duke is a demonstration of the next iteration of robotic technology, which Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development (R&D) and Disney Research first displayed earlier this year at the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference. At SXSW, Disney Imagineers unveiled an untethered, dynamic robotic character on skates that could steady itself and even perform a somersault — movements humans can relate to that generate emotional connections with the bunny character.

Duke Weaselton from Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Zootopia” on stage for one of the grand opening ceremonies celebrating Zootopia at Shanghai Disney Resort
Walt Disney Imagineering Premiers the Future of Robotic Technology With Duke Weaselton from Zootopia

With Duke, Imagineers have combined the ability to do all kinds of dynamic maneuvers, with our expertise in building expressive, animated faces. Now that Duke can speak, naturally he’s weaseled his way into a stage show! This is just another example of how Disney is taking creativity to new heights through technological breakthroughs in storytelling.

While we can’t tell you many of the details of how Imagineers brought Duke to life, or where you might see similar robotic technology in the future, we can share with you one secret: to pull off this achievement required not one, but two robots working together in sync. Not only was Duke a robotic figure, but so was the kiosk itself!

Duke was definitely a surprise and delight moment for those who attended the beautiful opening event for the newest land at Shanghai Disney Resort.

Walt Disney Imagineering Premiers the Future of Robotic Technology With Duke Weaselton from Zootopia

Greg Gatelyhttp://TheFUNaticsBlog.com
Greg "The Blue Hair" Blogger. If you are traveling around the Central Florida area you wont miss his Blue Head walking around, probably taking images. Co-Owner, Photographer, Podcaster, All Around Nice Guy, and curator of the most fantastical Disney Blog. You can listen to Greg on The Live Podcast show every week, along with seeing him live on Funatics Diary with Sam's Disney Diary. Once an Audio Engineer and Tour Manager with bands like Felix Cavaliere's Rascals, Collin Raye, Dispatch, just to name a few. Having retired from touring Greg spends all his time bringing the World of Disney to you. With over 3000 Articles written, and countless Images taken, Greg still enjoys living this amazing lifestyle. Thank You for reading!

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