The News Today
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11.29.20
Disney's West World

Disney Builds Horrifying Skinless Robot With Terrifyingly Human Eyes

__Victor Tangermann__Filed Under: Robots & Machines
Disney Research

Eye Hate It

Happy Halloween, everyone. A team of researchers at Disney have built a terrifying animatronic robot — an experiment in replicating the “gaze” of a human in order to appear more lifelike.

And as evidenced in a video, fleshless visage of the robotic monstrosity is terrifying, with realistic eyes — fleshy exposed eyelids and all — staring right into your soul. And let’s not even get started on its messed up looking teeth.

Look Behind You

“We present a general architecture that seeks not only to create gaze interactions from a technological standpoint, but also through the lens of character animation where the fidelity and believability of motion is paramount,” reads the abstract of a paper about the robot titled “Realistic and Interactive Robot Gaze.” “That is, we seek to create an interaction which demonstrates the illusion of life.”

And arguably the scary-looking robot is capable of doing just that. Its movements are swift and fluid, as if haunted by the soul of a living being.

Don’t Blink

To bring their Frankenstein illusion to life, the team layered subtle motor movements for breathing, blinking, and “saccades,” which are rapid movements of both eyes, on top of each other.

The robot can even react to external stimuli, like keeping eye contact with a moving subject — in this case, waving and head-bobbing Disney researchers, who seem to have fallen under its necromantic spell.

READ MORE: Disney Made a Skinless Robot That Can Realistically Stare Directly Into Your Soul [Gizmodo]

More on animatronics: Ultra-Realistic Remote Controlled Dolphin Looks Like the Real Thing