Typically, when we find Disney patents, they show us some tech that we’ve yet to see. Today, that story was a little different.
We spotted a patent from Disney Imagineering today that details the technology behind the upcoming Spider-Man robot that we’ll see in Disney’s California Adventure’s Avengers Campus. This “stuntronic” will have the ability to fly through the air and pose much like a human gymnast. So, how the heck does that VERY advanced robot work?
Disney published a patent that features the designs for a “Ballistic Robot System with Spin and Other Controlled Motion of Robot During Flight.” Sound familiar? That’s because this is the tech behind that Spider-Man Stuntronic coming to Avengers Campus!
This is a pretty exciting find considering the way that Disney makes this tech work has been a bit of a mystery so far. After all, we’re used to seeing robots that are stuck to the ground; but one with no tether that hurdles through the air with the control of an athlete? We’re still having trouble wrapping our heads around it — and we’ve seen the video!
Let’s start smaller than the full, completed stuntronic. The patent first details a base form of the tech used in the humanoid robot in the shape of a jointed linear bot.
These diagrams show how the linear bot is able to tuck as it flies through the air. Very specific physical calculations then allow the tuck of the bot to throw it into a spin after being launched.
This calculated spin allows the robot to maintain flight trajectory (again, without being tethered) and then land at a designated and consistent place (typically a net). This next figure shows us a little bit of how the launch works.
The robot is swung on a pendulum and released at the opportune point to begin flight trajectory. When the robot tucks, the pendulum knows to release and launch the robot. The following flowchart shows all the points that there are fail-safes in the process as well.
Okay, so let’s transition away from our simple jointed linear robot and into our humanoid, gymnast-mimicking bot. The stuntronic has a similar launch process. You can see here that weight drops over a pulley system, engaging the pendulum and launching the robot. From there, it enters it’s a ballistic path with the same tuck motion as the linear bot and lands consistently in a net. Then, the bot can be reset for launch again.
The added benefit of the humanoid robot is that the humanoid stuntronic has multiple limbs that can be programmed and coded to hit a variety of poses that help to both sell the character (Spider-Man) and control the trajectory of the flight. What would Spidey be without an outstretched arm shooting his web out?
At this time, we’re not sure when Avengers Campus (or all of The Disneyland Resort) will open, but when it does we should see this stuntronic dressed in full Spider-Man gear and swinging above the rooftops of the new land. It sure will be a site to see! As always, stay tuned to DFB for more of the latest tech updates from Disney!
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Are you excited to see the stuntronic when it debuts in Disney California Adventure? Tell us in the comments!