Disney Research Division Working on Creating Bipedal Robot to Walk Like Animated Characters

With the ever advancing technology in Disney Parks, new things are bound to head our way in the near future. In recent times, Disney’s Research Division is developing something that will make your favorite characters seen even more realistic. Disney is developing a way to create bi-pedal animatronics.

Our goal is to bring animation characters to life in the real world. We present a bipedal robot that looks like and walks like an animation character. We start from animation data of a character walking. We develop a bipedal robot which corresponds to lower part of the character following its kinematic structure. The links are 3D printed and the joints are actuated by servo motors. Using trajectory optimization, we generate an open-loop walking trajectory that mimics the character’s walking motion by modifying the motion such that the Zero Moment Point stays in the contact convex hull. The walking is tested on the developed hardware system.

These animatronics will walk and motion just like they appear in their cartoon form. This will make your experience on attractions and such even more memorable.


If you recall back in 2008, Disney California Adventure Park had a roaming animatronic dinosaur named Lucky. This guy has since then made his way to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Hong Kong Disneyland and The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. The features of Lucky gave a realistic appeal and synced up to what one would imagine a dinosaur walked like.

Since the success of Lucky, researchers are figuring out a way to make more magic in the parks.

Check out the clip below to see what the process features.

Also, if you are interested in checking out the complete work, click here to view the full research paper.

How do you feel about more of this technology coming to Disney Parks?