James Gunn, who recently finished The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special script, has also shared on social media another surprise gift–footage of a Disney Imagineering project that has made a lifelike robotic Groot, able to walk and charmingly strut along. On Twitter, the writer/director said simply the invention is “Groot IRL,” but as a report from TechCrunch indicates, it’s also a remarkable achievement in lifelike robotics.
Code named Project Kiwi, the initiative’s goal was to make a platform enabling bipedal ambulation in small robots, potentially capable of “acting.” In other words, the work showcased here is not necessarily indicative of some big announcement or project in the works centering on Groot from Disney; this video is more about the potential something like this enables. Check out the video below to see Groot in action–and while it’s tempting to just think it’s magic or CGI, know that this is a real walking animatronic figures like the ones you’ve seen in amusement parks, roving freely and getting its programming only from a thin cable. In related “Disney made it real” news, check out this recently unveiled working light saber.
In actual Guardians of the Galaxy news, Gunn recently revealed that filming will get underway “this year” for Volume 3. The writer/director shared that on Twitter earlier this month, which is pretty remarkable given how busy he is also working on Suicide Squad, developing a Peacemaker TV spinoff starring John Cena, and the aforementioned holiday special. Oh, and he’s also working on a Disney Parks ride at EPCOT at Disney World, which it’s entirely possible may turn out to involve Project Kiwi.
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