Disney’s robot can perform realistic eye movements & social interaction

In the past few years, scientists and engineers have developed robots for automated systems such as performing repetitive tasks. Meanwhile, Disney Research has been developing human-like robots with abilities ranging from performing stunts to having eerie eye interactions.

Disney Research recently published a paper that described a realistic and interactive gaze with the Audio-Animatronic humanoid. Previous robot developments have focused on technical implementation with human interaction. The team’s latest advancements include creating a gaze interaction “through the lens of character animation where the fidelity and believability of motion are paramount,” wrote the authors.

For nearly three decades, Disney has been developing animatronic figures, or life-like robots combined with audio and visual elements. These animal or human characters are seen in Disney theme parks around the world.

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How this 7- year old made $22 million playing with toys

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Seven-year-old Ryan of YouTube fame has made it offline, too. The mini mogul now has a collection of toys and apparel sold at Walmart stores nationwide.

Ryan of Ryan Toysreview really isn’t that different from any other first grader. The 7-year-old loves trains and cars; he giggles over Disney characters; he builds entire civilizations with Legos.

Except when he plays, he does so in front of a camera. An adult, presumably, then promptly uploads these videos onto his YouTube channel for his millions of followers—most of whom are elementary-school-age peers.

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Google and Disney partner to bring storybooks to life

A new Google and Disney partnership brings Disney Storybooks to life. When reading out loud select Disney Little Golden Books, Google Home will add sound effects and soundtracks to accompany the story as it is read aloud. The new feature uses voice recognition to be able to tell when a reader has skipped ahead or gone back, and adjust the sound effects accordingly. If the user pauses reading, ambient music will play until the user begins reading again. This feature works on Google Home, Home Mini, and Home Max speakers in the US. To activate the action, say, “Hey Google, let’s read along with Disney.”

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Disney has begun populating its parks with autonomous, personality-driven robots

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The process of making a Disney park feel alive is most easily encapsulated in animatronic figures. These hydraulic, pneumatic and now electric figures have been a fixture at Disneyland since the 60s. Since then, massive advancements have been made in control systems, movement architecture and programming. The most advanced animatronic figures like the Na’Vi Shaman in Disney World’s Na’vi River Journey are plain and simply robots. And very sophisticated ones at that.

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Disney Researchers Catch a Real Ball in Virtual Reality

The resurgence of virtual reality is still in its infancy, and while we do have very good VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, in other areas the tech is still severely lacking. Take interaction, for example, it’s very difficult to convey touching something in the virtual world with physical feedback. But what if you could interact with real world objects that appear in the virtual world?

Disney Research decided to carry out just such an experiment by asking the question: can you catch a real ball in virtual reality? The good news is, yes you can, but there’s a number of prerequisites to achieving such a simple task.

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Disney creates room that can wirelessly charge hundreds of devices

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Wireless charging was all the rage in smartphones a few years ago, but most device makers have backed off on the technology. Many phones simply charge super-fast via a cable now. The wireless charging fatigue is due in part to the range limitation of the technology. True wireless power is still a no-go in consumer technology, but Disney Research has developed a version that might work in the future. Its volumetric wireless power system can keep hundreds of devices powered with no wires whatsoever. The main drawback: you have to live in a metal box.

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Disney ‘s new 3-D printing technique turns any object into a speaker

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What if every object in your life could talk? A door handle warns you when someone has attempted to enter without a key. A desk ticks off your appointments when you sit down. A rubber duck quacks at a child in the tub, then his pillow sings him a lullaby to sleep. (Video)

 

 

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The future of toys – Disney 3D prints animated eyes for interactive characters

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Today, they are just cute, animated eyes. But tomorrow, curved displays could change the way we interact with everything.  According to Frog’s chief creative officer, Mark Rolston, in the next five years a doll will come out with a face made from a curved display, and that will change the way toys are made forever.

 

 

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Disney’s 1958 ‘Magic Highway USA’ Cartoon – The Future of Highway Transportation

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“Magic Highway USA” is a Disney cartoon that aired back in 1958 and showed the kind of good ol’ fashioned future that was all the rage back then. What did people have to look forward to? Color-coded and air conditioned highways, roads that are built instantly by lumbering vehicles, and — something we’re not so far from anymore — self-driving cars.

 

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