Disney’s Creative & Research Team Is At It Again

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(Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Disney is known for being a ‘Magical Place’. Guests are always captivated by the beautiful gardening skills of the Disney Cast Members which feature colorful flowers, bushes in the shapes of Disney characters and more. If you ever stay in a Disney resort or cruise on a Disney ship, each night you are surprised with new Disney shaped towels on your bed.

Disney’s Research Hub has been working with a student team at ETH Zürich to take Disney’s creativity around Disney parks and resorts to a whole new level.

On Friday, January 9, 2015, they announced their latest research, the Beachbot. It is a mobile robot that with its balloon wheels can travel sandy beaches without leaving any tracks, except for the artistic designs it is programmed to draw.

There is a controllable rake at the rear of the robot, with individually controllable pins that can be raised and lowered to create thick or thin lines in the sand. Four poles are placed in the sand to map out the parts of the beach where Beachbot can draw. Using those poles and IMU (inertial measurement unit) technology to determine its position on the mapped out grid, the Beachbot can then take the pre-programmed drawings and re-create them in the sand.

According to what Disney Research Hub wrote on their YouTube video, Beachbot is just one of Disney Research’s projects in the area of mobile robotics, including work on path-planning, robot choreography, localization, and human-robot interaction.

Watch the Beachbot in action:

Alysa Woloszyn

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