Robot Stunt Double Lands Perfectly Every Time
Written by Lucy Black   
Saturday, 30 June 2018

Disney's Imagineering Research and Development department has unveiled a humanoid robot capable of performing impressive stunts and be a new attraction at Disneyland and its related theme parks.


Disney Imagineering's latest creations are called Stuntronics and are described as:

"autonomous, self-correcting aerial performers that make on-the-go corrections to nail high-flying stunts every time."

Last year Boston Dynamic's Atlas added the ability to do backflips to its repertoire and Stuntronics are an obvious next step for Disney's  robots that are already a feature of its theme parks alongside on-screen characters perform impressive feats. Disney Research therefore came up with the concept of a stunt double for the ‘hero’ animatronic figures that could take their place within a show or scene to perform more aggressive maneuvering, much in the same way a double replaces a valuable and delicate actor in a dangerous scene.

This video shows a stunt robot launching into the air from a swing and performing several flips, before landing in a net. 


The humaniod robot is a further development on a Disney research experiment with a simple two degree of freedom robot called "Stickman", a human-length acrobatic robot that consists of three links that can fold or unfold to tuck or untuck during a somersault.





As shown in the video below Stickman swings through the air on a pendulum, “tucks” to change its moment of inertia, releases, “untucks” to reduce its spin, and gracefully lands on its back on a foam mat:


The research paper explains that Disney Imagineering is concerned with more than entertaining them park visitors:

Now that robots are becoming more mobile, intelligent, and aware, the ability to mimic these stunts presents several opportunities... A robotic acrobat can help answer questions about how stunts are performed in ways that may be of use to elite gymnasts... Beyond this, an acrobatic robot pushes the limits of control, sensing, and fabrication in ways that could have relevance for robots in general.


More Information

Stickman: Towards a Human Scale Acrobatic Robot

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Atlas and the Backflip

Play Catch With Disney Research's Humanoid 

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 30 June 2018 )