Following on from its impressive Spider-Man robot, Disneyland is introducing a lifelike Dancing Groot robot to its Florida theme park.
Revealed by Disney imagineers in a new YouTube video, the upcoming robot will be part of the theme park’s massive plans for its Marvel Universe extension. Starting with Avengers Academy, new Marvel rides and attractions are still being planned.
In the video, imagineers showcased the new Dancing Groot robot that will be used in one of its upcoming shows. Seen dancing with other Guardians of the Galaxy character Star-Lord, the robot is capable of advanced movement and emotion the likes of which hasn’t been seen at Disneyland before.
The current version of the Groot robot is capable of walking, gesturing and emoting “in style”, according to the engineers that designed the prototype. It’s described as being able to take on the role of “similarly sized Disney characters”.
As Disneyland actors are all played by adults, these robots could allow some of the brand’s younger characters to be present on stage or in the park. Of course, safety measures will need to be in place to stop tourists from messing with the robots.
In the video, the Dancing Groot robot is still obviously robotic. While some of its dance moves are remarkably fluid, 99% of the time it still looks like a robot with clothes on. Nevertheless, it’s still a fantastic addition to the Disneyland experience.
Currently, the robotic design is only being playtested with specific crowds, but there are currently no plans to bring the robot into official Disneyland attractions at the time of writing. While these advanced robotics may become frequent attractions in the future, they’re still not concrete.
Disneyland imagineers have been at the forefront of robotics for decades. From the animatronics of the 60s to the mind-blowing techniques seen in modern robots like Beauty and the Beast’s Belle, the park’s designers are always on the cutting-edge.
“We’re a storytelling company so we want to bring these characters to life in the most authentic way possible.” said Joel Peavy, Executive R&D Imaginer. “For us, that means a walking, robotic actor… that can move, gesture, and emote in style.”
While we’re not excited to see robots replacing waiters and other workers, we can’t deny wanting to see a Dancing Groot at Disneyland. By god, the marketing is actually working.