Many people might not know that Disney has a research department in which it explores how visual computing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence shapes early-stage ideas into technological innovations that revolutionize the way it produce movies and create media content.
Disney Research’s latest creation will certainly leave a long lasting impression, but not for the reasons they might have intended. According to reports from Gizmodo, Disney Research has created a hyper-realistic robot that can accurately imitate human facial movements like subtle head movements and blinking of its eyes. What makes the robot’s first appearance so strange is the fact that Disney decided to show it off without any artificial skin attached to it, thus creating the perfect nightmare fuel.
If you can managed to get past the robots terrifying looks, you’ll notice the technology contorting it is actually quite special. It knows to turn and face a subject without any audible cues thanks to its chest-mounted imaging sensor. Once the robot is facing a person, its eyes don’t lock onto the subject, instead they spontaneously move around, similar to how a real human would alter their gaze once they are familiar with a subject or experience a distraction. It can also mimic natural blinking, subtle head movements, and even breathing.
Take a look at the impressive, yet horrifying robot below:
Disney see the robot being used in a variety of different situations. For one, it could be used in the Disney theme parks as a more convincing animatronic than the ones currently being used. However, its hyper-realistic features could also be used as a more convincing caregiver robot in places like old age homes where loneliness and a lack of human interaction is a serious problem.
Picture: Screenshot from video