ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Your next trip to a Disney entertainment park could bring a bit of a shock when you discover that the man talking to you, with wrinkles and lifelike features, is just a 3-D robot. “Researchers at Disney Research in Zurich, Switzerland have been hard at work developing a new process to create ultra-realistic animatronic characters that will entertain visitors at Disney theme parks across the world,” reports International Design Times.
The new clone-like animated creatures are created using 3-D printing at its most sophisticated. Human heads are scanned, then printing, in a process labeled Physical Face Cloning.
Disney Research has centres in four US cities and Zurich, where it works closely with ETH, the Federal Institute of Technology. The company is a network of research laboratories that support The Walt Disney Company with scientific and technological innovation “to advance the Company’s broad media and entertainment efforts”, according to its web site.
It’s also working on improving shadows, creating lifelike animated cloth and out of this world balloons.