When we think about robots, heavy industrial metal beasts often come to mind. People often associate the word 'robot' with drones, or AI. They certainly don't think of Disney.
Well, they actually should. And no, we aren't talking about Baymax.
The people at Disney research have revealed Jimmy, the Disney robot with "fluid" movements. Jimmy is also known as a Hybrid Hydrostatic Transmission and Human Safe Haptic Telepresence Robot. Alas, Jimmy flows off the tongue better.
Unlike its contemporary bots which are slow and clunky, Jimmy can actually be described as "lifelike," "fast," and "graceful." Mimicking the gestures of a human controller, this robot can pull off any movements its arms can allow. It can even thread a needle. That's all thanks to the actuators inside the robot. Using a hybrid system of air and water, the robot has greater torque-per-weight than others.
But that's not to say there are no drawbacks to Jimmy. He has to be manually controlled by the operator and can only move when the operator "puppets" Jimmy. His air and water actuators also have to be monitored for pressure problems.
Jimmy's makers have published a paper describing the new robot.