A robotic baby Groot will soon be roaming Disney parks

He talks, he dances and he even shows emotion.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Disney's baby Groot.jpg
Disney's baby Groot.

Disney Parks/ YouTube 

Disney Imagineers released footage of a new robot that will soon be roaming all Disney parks. The robot is a version of baby Groot from the franchise Guardians of the Galaxy.

In the video the adorable machine can be seen talking, dancing and even showing emotion.

Speaking in the clip, Executive R&D Imaginer Joel Peavy explained:

"We're a storytelling company so we want to bring these characters to life in the most authentic way possible. For us, that means a walking, robotic actor… that can move, gesture, and emote in style."

Meanwhile, Executive Creative Director of Disney Live Entertainment Michael Serna added:

“Ideally, we want guests to get excited, but this is the first time I've seen guests get visibly excited— adults, kids. It is shocking what they get to see and they understand how unique and fun this is."

A free-roaming robotic actor

Finally,  Imagineering describes their new character as a “free-roaming robotic actor that can take on the role of our similarly-sized Disney characters. Its tightly integrated design provides over 50 degrees of freedom in a compact platform that can walk, gesture, and emote in style. Using custom authoring tools that combine whole-body motion planning and traditional character animation, artists can quickly bring robotic characters to life with expressive motions and interactive behaviors.”

The machine is still being tested so it may be a while till we can see it live and perhaps hug it. However, when it does come to audiences worldwide it will be a site not to be missed.

In the meantime, Disney has been trialing other robots.

In March of 2023, at the South by Southwest tech festival in Austin, Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development unveiled a robotic roller skating bunny.

The demonstration was part of Disney's efforts to create robots capable of "emotionally connecting" with the guests at the theme parks. It used motion-capture data to create life-like performances and connect with the audience.

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